Rio Ferdinand Loses Wife to Cancer
The 36-year-old QPR defender released a statement Saturday saying his "wonderful wife and soul mate" Rebecca Ellison had "passed away peacefully" at a London hospital.
Ms Ellison, 34, who married Ferdinand in 2009, had breast cancer.
She leaves behind three children, Lorenz (9), Tate (6), and four-year-old Tia.
In a statement, Ferdinand said she died on Friday night.
"Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London," the footballer said on QPR's website.
"She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration.
"Myself, my parents Janice and Julian, along with Rebecca's parents Lesley and Stephen, would like to thank our families, friends and my club colleagues who have rallied around in these desperate days, weeks and months."
Ferdinand thanked the staff who treated his wife at the south London hospital, adding: "I would also like to express my gratitude for the dedication and expertise of the staff led by Professors Johnstone and Clarke at the Royal Marsden.
"Their valiant efforts to prolong Rebecca's all-too-short life will not be forgotten."
Messages of support have been posted on Twitter from the world of football.
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