LONDON - The wife of former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has died following a short battle with cancer, he announced on Saturday.
"My soulmate slipped away last night," the 36-year-old player 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."
The couple married in 2009 when Ferdinand played for Manchester United.
He was at Old Trafford from 2002 to 2014 before joining Queens Park Rangers. He won 81 caps for England between 1997 and 2011.
"Everybody's thoughts at #mufc are with Rio Ferdinand today, whose wife sadly passed away last night," United said in a post on the club's official Twitter account.
QPR announced on Twitter that their players would all wear black armbands during their Premier League game at Liverpool on Saturday.