Tributes pour in Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca Ellison who passed away from cancer
Footballer Rio Ferdinand's longterm partner Rebecca Ellison has died after a short battle with cancer.
The QPR defender confirmed the news today.
In a statement, Rio (36) 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.”
Rebecca is the mother of the couple's three children, Lorenz (9), Tate (6) and Tia (4).
Club QPR added: "The thoughts of everyone at Queens Park Rangers Football Club are with Rio and his family at this immensely difficult time."
The couple were married in the summer of 2009 after Ferdinand had helped Manchester United win a third successive Premier League title and the club, where he won six league titles and the Champions League, were among those to pay their respects.
"Everybody's thoughts at #mufc are with Rio Ferdinand today, whose wife sadly passed away last night," a tweet from the club's official account read.
Players past and present were also among those to pass on their condolences to the 36-year-old defender.
"Thoughts are with Rio Ferdinand and his family. How dreadfully sad," Gary Lineker tweeted, while Ferdinand's former Three Lions team-mate Peter Crouch wrote: "Thoughts with @rioferdy5 and his family."
Former Aston Villa and England striker Dion Dublin added: "My thoughts are with @rioferdy5 his children and his family....... RIP Becky."
Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam wrote: "Thoughts with @rioferdy5 and his family on such terrible news."
Ferdinand joined QPR last summer after 12 trophy-laden years at United following the Hoops' return to the Premier League and has made 12 appearances for them this season.
QPR also paid tribute to Ferdinand's wife, who was 34 when she died, and announced that their players would wear black armbands against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
So sad to hear.. Thoughts and prayers go out to @rioferdy5 and his family— Amir Khan (@AmirKingKhan) May 2, 2015
Shocked at the death of Rebecca, wife of @rioferdy5. Utterly tragic, thoughts with Rio, their families & their 3 beautiful children— Hayley McQueen (@HayleyMcQueen) May 2, 2015
I can't believe it. I offer my sincere to @rioferdy5 and his family. Stay strong bruv.— Carlton Cole (@CarltonCole1) May 2, 2015
Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family @rioferdy5— Fraser Forster (@FraserForster) May 2, 2015
Thoughts are with Rio Ferdinand and his family. How dreadfully sad.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 2, 2015
Really sad news that Rebecca Ellison, the wife of Rio Ferdinand has past away. My condolences to Rio, their 3 children and the family. RIP— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) May 2, 2015
Thinking of @rioferdy5 and his young family.. RIP Rebecca..— Harry Kewell (@HarryKewell) May 2, 2015
@rioferdy5 so sorry about the news of your wife, my thoughts and wishes are with you and your family— jonas gutierrez (@elgalgojonas) May 2, 2015
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your kids at this difficult time @rioferdy5 . Hope God gives you the strength you need buddy— Stiliyan Petrov (@StanPetrov19) May 2, 2015
Deepest condolences to @rioferdy5 and his family at this difficult time. Stay strong mate.— Phil Jones (@PhilJones4) May 2, 2015
In a statement, the west London club said: "The thoughts of everyone at Queens Park Rangers Football Club are with Rio and his family at this immensely difficult time."
A statement on Liverpool's website read: "Liverpool FC offers its deepest condolences to Rio and his family and friends at this sad time."
A whole host of QPR players also paid their respects on Twitter, with midfielder Karl Henry tweeting: "Devastated to hear the sad news of Rio's wife passing. All of our thoughts are with him and his family."
QPR captain Joey Barton tweeted: "Just heard the terrible news. My heart goes out to @rioferdy5 and his family. RIP Rebecca."
Hoops goalkeeper Alex McCarthy wrote: "Devastating news about Rebecca Ferdinand... My thoughts go out to him and his family."
United players also took to Twitter to express their sympathy, with Ferdinand's former defensive partner Chris Smalling writing: "Incredibly sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with @rioferdy5 and his young family."
Adnan Januzaj wrote: "Very sad news to hear about @rioferdy5's wife Rebecca. My thoughts go out to his family at this tough time. Stay strong."
Goalkeeper David de Gea added: "Devastated after the heartbreaking news. My thoughts goes out to @rioferdy5, family and friends!"