Rio Ferdinand loses wife to cancer
Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca has died following a short battle with cancer.
'My soulmate slipped away last night,' the QPR defender said in a statement.
'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.'
Former Manchester United centre-back and England captain Ferdinand, who won 81 caps for his country, expressed gratitude to the staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
'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,' the statement continued.
'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.'