Rio Ferdinand’s Wife Rebecca Ellison Dies From Cancer; Tributes, Tears Flow In EPL

Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand is in mourning following the death of his wife Rebecca Ellison Ferdinand.

Ellison died Friday after losing her battle with breast cancer, according to the BBC. The wife of the former Manchester United star and current QPR defender was 34 years old.

“My soul mate slipped away last night,” Ferdinand said in a statement, according to the BBC. ” 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.”

Ferdinand and Ellison married in 2009. They have three children, Lorenz (nine years old), Tate (six) and Tia (four).

Ferdinand, 36, did not appear in QPR’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool on Saturday. He has been on a (previously unexplained) leave of absence in recent weeks. Both QPR and Liverpool teams expressed their sympathies at Anfield before and during the game.

Condolences and tributes poured in from near and far corners of the soccer world.

Ferdinand has played 12 games for QPR this season. He joined the struggling Premier League club last summer from Manchester United, with which he played 12 years and won six Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League crown. Ferdinand also played 81 games for England’s national team.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TeleFootball

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