Rebecca Ellison, Wife Of Rio Ferdinand, Dies After Battle With Cancer -- QPR Players Wear Black Armband In Remembrance

Rebecca Ellison, Wife Of Footballer Rio Ferdinand, Dies After Battle With Breast Cancer — QPR Players Wear Black Armband In Remembrance

Rebecca Ellison, the wife of Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand, has died after a battle with breast cancer.

Ferdinand released a statement on Saturday, announcing that his wife, who he referred to as his “soul mate,” had “slipped away,” on Friday, according to NESN.

“My soulmate 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 took the opportunity to express his gratitude to his family, friends, club colleagues, and the Royal Marsden hospital in London for all they did to help Rebecca.

“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,” he added.

Ferdinand and Ellison married in 2009. They have three children together- Lorenz, 9, Tate, 6, and Tia, 4.

“Everybody’s thoughts at Manchester United are with Rio Ferdinand today, whose wife sadly passed away last night,” the club, where he won six league titles and the Champions League, said in a statement.

According to the Guardian, former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel wrote: “Really sad news that Rebecca Ellison, the wife of Rio Ferdinand has past away. My condolences to Rio, their their children and the family. RIP.”

As a way to remember and honor Rebecca, the QPR announced that their players would be wearing black armbands during the game.

In recent weeks, Rio had been on an unexplained leave of absence. He did not appear in the QPR’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool on Saturday.

Thousands of others have taken the time to pay their respect to Rio Ferdinand as he prepares to lay his wife Rebecca Ellison to rest.

[Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images]