Rio Ferdinand’s wife loses battle with cancer

THE WIFE of former England captain Rio Ferdinand died last night following a battle with cancer.

Rio Ferdinand with his wife Rebecca Ellison, who died last night following a battle with cancer. Picture: PA

The Queens Park Rangers star told of his heartbreak after his “soul mate” and wife Rebecca died in hospital.

In a statement released on the club’s website, he said: “My soul mate slipped away last night.

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“Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

“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.”

Mr Ferdinand, 36, thanked his friends, family and hospital staff for their support over the past months.

He said: “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.

“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.

“Our grief, as a family, is total. We would appreciate being allowed to mourn privately.”

The London club added: “The thoughts of everyone at Queens Park Rangers Football Club are with Rio and his family at this immensely difficult time.”