Rebecca Ellison, wife of Rio Ferdinand, dies of cancer

QPR centre-half releases a statement on club website announcing death of his ‘soulmate’

Riio Ferdinand and wife Rebecca Ellison, who has died of cancer. Photograph: PA

Riio Ferdinand and wife Rebecca Ellison, who has died of cancer. Photograph: PA

 

Rebecca Ellison, the wife of the Queens Park Rangers and England defender Rio Ferdinand, has died of cancer, the player announced on Saturday.

She had been treated at the Royal Marsden, a specialist cancer treatment hospital in London.

“My soulmate slipped away last night,” Ferdinand said in a statement. “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.”

Ferdinand expressed gratitude to the staff at the Royal Marsden hospital. “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,” the statement continued.

“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.”

A QPR club statement added: “The thoughts of everyone at Queens Park Rangers are with Rio and his family at this immensely difficult time.”

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