Rio Ferdinand’s wife dies after losing battle with cancer

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Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand revealed on Saturday that his wife Rebecca Ellison passed away after a short battle with breast cancer.

The former Manchester United and England defender, 37, announced the sad news and said that his wife “passed away peacefully” on Friday night and that she was a “fantastic, loving mother to our three beautiful children.”

Ellison, who passed away at the Royal Marsden hospital in London, married Ferdinand in 2009 and they have three children together, aged nine, six and four.

Here is Ferdinand’s statement in full:

“My soulmate slipped away last night,” Ferdinand said. “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.”