Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca Ellison died within three months of breast cancer diagnosis
Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca Ellison passed away on Friday evening, just a few months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to the The Sun on Sunday, the former fitness trainer was admitted to a specialist cancer treatment centre The Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea in February.
The Sun reported that former fitness trainer Rebecca had been ill previously.
After her admission in February, the couple chose to keep the diagnosis secret except for a family and a few close friends, including QPR manager Chris Ramsey.
The Queens Park Rangers star told of his heartbreak after his "soul mate" and wife Rebecca Ellison died in hospital aged 34.
In a statement released on the club's website, 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."
Rio also thanked the hospital, saying their "valiant efforts to prolong Rebecca's all too short life will not be forgotten".
Football sources have said that Ferdinand's injury plagued season was partly down to his need to be with his wife. He last played for QPR on March 7, weeks after Rebecca's shock diagnosis.
Sources told the newspaper - for whom Rio writes a weekly column - that Rebecca had an "ultra aggressive form of breast cancer which had spread".
The couple married in August 2009 in the Caribbean on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands. The footballer rented the entire 1,800-acre resort for their nuptials.
They have three children Lorenz, nine, Tate, six, and four-year-old Tia.
Following Chelsea's win over Crystal Palace today, which saw the Blues claim the Premier League title, Rio's former England team mate John Terry passed on his sympathies.
He said: "I would like, on behalf of myself and everyone at Chelsea, to send our condolences to Rio Ferdinand and his family."
Terry and Ferdinand formed a formidable partnership at the heart of England's defence under Sven-Goran Eriksson.