Former England defender Rio Ferdinand announced this morning that his wife of six years and mother of his three children, Rebecca Ferdinand died in a hospital in London following a short battle with cancer. Ferdinand announced the sad news on the club's website this morning. He said:
'My soul mate slipped away last night. 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.
'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.'