Rio Ferdinand gave credit to his ‘inspiring’ late mother when he shared his gratitude for being recognized on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List on Thursday.
The Manchester United legend, 43, who founded the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to support young people in disadvantaged communities, was awarded an OBE by the British monarch for his work.
He took to social media to address the award in a lengthy speech as he thanked the Queen and those involved with the charity.
‘I can’t handle this alone’: Rio Ferdinand, 43, gave credit to his ‘inspiring’ mother when he shared his gratitude for being recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list on Thursday
Rio has worked to raise awareness for breast cancer after his wife Rebecca died of the disease at age 34 in 2015, which was tragically followed by the death of his mother, Janice St Fort, from the same illness at age 58. age in 2017.
In a video posted to his Instagram, Rio began: “I want to say a huge thank you to the Queen and everyone who put me on the honor roll this year.
“But I can’t just sit here and receive this award, I think the support I’ve had from all the people within the foundation have played their part, including the young people who have been helped.”
Honor: Rio, which created the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to support young people in disadvantaged communities, was rewarded by the British monarch for his charitable work (The Queen pictured on Thursday)
Lief: He explained: My mother (Janice St Fort, photo) was the inspiration behind this foundation. I looked up to her, her willingness to help other people’
He continued: ‘My mother was the inspiration behind this foundation. I looked up to her, her willingness to help other people, her will and desire to change people’s perspectives and lives in terms of opportunities.
“Having the will and desire to do that and keep pushing. To continue to ask companies, various councils, MPs to help young people have dreams and the opportunity to help realize those dreams.
“It doesn’t matter how big or how small, but when you have that one dream in your life, we think it’s very important for everyone who walks this earth to have something to focus on and really get excited about.” to vote.
‘But you also need a framework for that, the structure to do that and that’s what our foundation is about.’
Tragic: Rio has worked to raise awareness for breast cancer after his wife Rebecca (pictured) died of the disease in 2015 at the age of 34, which was tragically followed by the death of his mother, Janice St Fort, from the same illness at age 58 in 2017
Unbelievable: He said, ‘It doesn’t matter how big or how small, but with that one dream in your life, we think it’s very important that everyone walking around this earth has something to focus on’
The former footballer went on to speak about his upbringing, adding: ‘It’s important to address the community I grew up in, in Peckham, South London, it was a big part of shaping who I was and who I was. am.
“All the people who played a part in my life growing up, but also that community should enjoy these kinds of awards. Without that community, without Peckham, I wouldn’t be doing this.
“To have the career I’ve had it gave me the foundation to go out and realize dreams, travel the world to play football and the leverage to start a foundation and carry on with what we’ve been doing for ten years.
He concluded: ‘More than 10,000 children have experienced it and are still experiencing it. We haven’t done it for these kinds of accolades, but when they come along, it does kind of give you a push to say “yes, I’m being recognized for doing the right things,” so I go ahead and thank you so much. †
Foundation: He concluded: ‘More than 10,000 children have experienced it and are still experiencing it. We didn’t do it for these kinds of awards’
Acknowledgments: In a caption, he added: ‘I am also very grateful for the efforts of everyone involved with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’
Under the video, he also left a heartfelt message, adding: “I am also very grateful for the efforts of everyone involved with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, especially Gary Stannett and Rhiannon Watts who have worked with me in various roles since the Foundation. started more than ten years ago, and Victoria Lowe who has been driving our work in Manchester for a number of years now.
This year’s recipients reportedly reflect the Queen’s “invaluable” qualities in the run-up to her platinum anniversary and have been recognized for their contributions to youth engagement, the environment and sustainable public service.
Speaking about the anniversary list, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This historic platinum anniversary is not only a celebration of the monarch, but also of the qualities she possesses.
“The awards she is awarding this week reflect many of those qualities that have been invaluable across all walks of life and communities across the UK.
“I pay tribute to all this year’s winners. Their stories of courage and compassion are an inspiration to all of us.’
Recognized: This year’s recipients are said to reflect the monarch’s ‘invaluable’ qualities in the run-up to her platinum anniversary and were recognized for their contributions to youth engagement