Alex Ferguson and Manchester United stars join family of Rio Ferdinand at private funeral for his late wife Rebecca Ellison
Alex Ferguson was among the many Manchester United starts who paid their respects at a private funeral for Rebecca Ellison, the late wife of Rio Ferdinand.
Rebecca (34) died from cancer on May 2nd.
It's been reported former Man Utd defender Rio laid his wife and mother to his three children to rest following a private funeral close to their home in Bromley.
Read more here: 'Like Rio, my beautiful wife was taken too young'
According to 'The Sun' newspaper, Ferguson, who was manager of United during Rio's career at Old Trafford, attended the wake for Ms Ellison alongside current player Robin van Persie.
Former players Edwin van der Saar, Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher were also present.
Rio announced his 'soul mate' Rebecca had passed away in a statement issued on QPR's website, the Premier League club he transferred to last season from United.
Read more here: Rio Ferdinand's tragic loss puts QPR plight in perspective
In a moving statement, Ferdinand, 36, said his wife would “live on... as a guide and inspiration”. With it, Ferdinand also posted online a photograph of himself with his wife taken in happier times.
The couple, who married in 2009, have three children Lorenz, nine, Tate, six, and four-year-old Tia.
“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. 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.”
Sources close the couple say Rebecca was told she had terminal breast cancer February.
The couple kept the news to themselves, with only close friends, family and QPR manager Chris Ramsey knowing. It is thought Rebecca was ill before, but news of her diagnosis in February came as a shock.
Rebecca met Rio more than ten years ago - she was working as an accountant and he was a footballer.
She gave birth to their son Lorenz in 2006 - a year later he proposed to her in Las Vegas.
In 2008, the couple welcomed their second son Tate.
They married in 2009, shunning big money deals from a number of magazines - keeping in with their wish to keep their relationship and young family out of the limelight.
And in 2010, they welcomed their daughter Tia.