The couple at an award ceremony in 2013 - Source: Martin Rickett
Sad news as it is announced that Rebecca Ellison, 34, has died peacefully after a short battle with breast cancer. She married football celebrity Rio Ferdinand, 36, in 2009 and the couple have three children Lorenz, nine, Tate, six, and four-year-old Tia.
In a statement, Ferdinand said she died on Friday night adding "Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London," the footballer said on QPR's website. "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."
BBC news reports Ferdinand also thanked the staff who treated his wife at the south London hospital, adding: "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."
Condolences and message of support from shocked colleagues and fans are being posted online.
In May 2014 Ferdinand played his last football match for Manchester United, has played international football for England and currently plays for QPR, Queen's Park Rangers.
His football club have also issued a statement saying "The thoughts of everyone at Queens Park Rangers Football Club are with Rio and his family at this immensely difficult time." QPR players will wear black armbands for the match against Liverpool at Anfield Saturday.
The heartbroken former England star also said in a statement Saturday: 'My soul mate slipped away last night'.