Rebecca Ellison, wife of Rio Ferdinand, dies after battle with breast cancer

Rebecca Ellison, wife of Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand, has passed away. The player announced the news on the club’s website this morning, revealing Ellison had succumbed to cancer at Royal Marsden Hospital in London late Friday.

“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.”

According to the BBC, Ellison, who married Ferdinand in 2009, had breast cancer. She leaves behind two sons, Lorenz (nine years old) and Tate (six), and one daughter, Tia (four).

“She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children,” Ferdinand said. “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’s long-time club, Manchester United, which he left for QPR this summer, tweeted its condolences shortly after the announcement.

Fans at Old Trafford will remember Ellison with a standing ovation during the fifth minute of today’s match between United and West Bromwich Albion. Ferdinand wore number five during his 12 seasons with the club.

Queens Park Rangers’ players, facing Liverpool at Anfield, will wear black armbands in Ellison’s honor.

Ferdinand’s full statement:

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.

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