Rio Ferdinand to discuss wife's death for documentary

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand will discuss the death of his wife as part of a new documentary exploring the impact on parents who lose their partners.

In 2015, Rio’s wife, Rebecca, died aged 34 after a battle with breast cancer.

The father-of-three will front the 60-minute BBC documentary as he tries to understand how widowed parents manage grief and support their children.

Rio and Rebecca (Martin Rickett/PA)

Rio opens up about his loss, saying: “I don’t think I’ve grieved properly.”

He adds: “I’ve not given myself that time to sit down and really flush everything out and go through it.”

The ex-Manchester United defender will discover the only way parents can help their children move on is by rebuilding their own lives first.

Rio playing for England in 2010 (Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

The film also offers a broader insight into how young husbands and fathers cope with grief and finds around 75 men under 50 become widowers every day in the UK.

Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning and events, said: “Rio Ferdinand has courageously allowed the cameras to follow him in this revealing and immensely personal documentary exploring the complexities of grief.

“This candid film will offer BBC One audiences an intimate exploration of the ways in which men similarly bereaved cope with their loss.”

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad will be shown on BBC One this spring.


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