Tuesday 16 January 2018

TOWIE star Kate Wright pays tribute to boyfriend Rio Ferdinand's late mother after tragic death

Rio Ferdinand, left, and Kate Wright, right
Rio Ferdinand, left, and Kate Wright, right
Footballer Rio Ferdinand attends the UK Premiere of "Beauty And The Beast" at Odeon Leicester Square on February 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Kate Wright attending the National Television Awards 2017 at the O2, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 25, 2017. See PA story SHOWBIZ NTAs. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

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Kate Wright has paid tribute to her boyfriend Rio Ferdinand's late mother following her death on Thursday.

Janice St Fort, the 58-year-old mother of former England footballer Rio, lost her battle against cancer just two years after the sportsman lost his wife Rebecca Ellison to the disease at the age of 34.

Former The Only Way Is Essex star Kate, who only recently went public with her romance with Rio, took to Instagram to share a touching message in memory of Janice.

Posting a meme which read, "Always loved, never forgotten, forever missed", Kate added in the caption, "She's Royal", alongside praying hands and purple heart emojis.

Kate Wright attending the National Television Awards 2017 at the O2, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 25, 2017. See PA story SHOWBIZ NTAs. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
Kate Wright attending the National Television Awards 2017 at the O2, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 25, 2017. See PA story SHOWBIZ NTAs. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Following Janice's tragic passing, Rio, his brother Anton and the Ferdinand family released a statement in which they described her as "an inspiration" who was "loved by everyone".

"We are heartbroken to announce that our amazing mum Janice passed away today after an ongoing battle with cancer," the statement read. "She died at Guy’s Cancer Unit, London Bridge Hospital, with her loving husband Peter and us, her four children, at her bedside. She was a devoted mother to us all, and she was the most incredible grandmother to our children.

"The whole family are devastated. Our mum was the centre and the heart of our family and has supported us all through many difficult times, always with a smile on her face. Her strength and courage, as well as her great sense of humour and immense kindness, were never-ending."

They continued by thanking staff at Guy's Cancer Unit for looking after Janice, as well as everyone who had sent them messages of support during "this difficult time".

Footballer Rio Ferdinand attends the UK Premiere of
Footballer Rio Ferdinand attends the UK Premiere of "Beauty And The Beast" at Odeon Leicester Square on February 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

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