Ferdinand in appeal for murder witnesses

LONDON, April 7, 2011 (AFP) - Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has joined an appeal for witnesses as police attempt to solve the murder of a promising young footballer who was shot dead in London.

In a video message released on the Metropolitan Police's Youtube site, former England captain Ferdinand urged anyone with information about the killing of 18-year-old Rio McFarlane in Peckham last September to come forward.

Ferdinand comes from the same part of London as McFarlane and is also friends with the victim's elder brother.

"I grew up in Peckham with Rio's brother Anthony and have known the McFarlane family for many years, so I wanted to do something to help them get justice for Rio's murder," Ferdinand said.

"I believe that the community can make a difference but it's important for people to come forward and talk to police."

Police believe McFarlane's murder on September 6 may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Police are offering a reward of £20,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

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