The wife died: she gave up the dream

The wife died: she gave up the dream

In May 2015, Rebecca Ellison died suddenly of cancer at the age of 34. Meanwhile, her husband, former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand, 45, was shelving his football boots.

Ferdinand is suddenly left with the couple's three children (Lorenz, Tate and Thea) and life changes completely.

The former centre-back had plans to become a manager after his playing career. The death of his wife changed that.

-If you are going to be a manager, you have to be available 24/7, there is no free time. I've seen that with Stevie (Gerrard) and Frank (Lampard) in the little time I've spent with them. The change from being an expert to becoming a manager, they are always on the phone,” Ferdinand says in the podcast Interference.

Here he speaks to Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Jill Scott.

– A comprehensive crisis


– He needed me

Managers are never fully present, Ferdinand says, because “they're probably thinking about a million other things.”

The 45-year-old is a TNT Sports football expert himself, but believes it's easier to combine that role with being a father.

My children needed me to be with them 100%. I'm at work, but you can contact me. I can still be there for them and be with other parents in the evening, while managers miss out on all that, says Ferdinand.

-So I had to make a quick decision. It wasn't even something I had to really think about. I just decided I wasn't going to do it.

Ferdinand married again in 2019 to former TV star Kate Wright. He has two new children with his new wife.

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Reaction - He wanted to leave

Reaction – He wanted to leave


Married: Rio Ferdinand with his wife Kate Wright.  Photograph: Anthony Harvey/REX/NTB

Married: Rio Ferdinand with his wife Kate Wright. Photograph: Anthony Harvey/REX/NTB
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worn out

Ferdinand has taken a long time to publicly mourn the loss of his late wife. Instead, he tried to get busy with other things to divert his focus. This led, among other things, to him starting to drink.

Ferdinand always saw empathy as a weakness, which made it difficult to ask for help.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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