The England international confirmed that his spouse died after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, writing, "My soul mate slipped away last night... 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... Our grief, as a family, is total. We would appreciate being allowed to mourn privately."

Ferdinand married Rebecca in 2009 and the couple have three young children, sons Lorenz and Tate, and daughter Tia.

One Direction singer Niall Horan was one of the first stars to extend sympathies to the star, writing on, "Condolences to Rio and his family!" while Ferdinard's former teammate Beckham, who was celebrating his 40th birthday in Morocco, wrote on, "Victoria & I are very sad to about the passing of Rebecca Ferdinand. Our thoughts are with Rio, their children and Rebecca's family at this time."

Cole, also known as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, adds, "So tragically sad to hear about Rebecca Ferdinand. My prayers are with @rioferdy5 their children, family & friends at this sad time," and reality star Katie Price posts, "Sorry to hear this sad news @rioferdy5 keep strong and loving hugs to you and your children and both families."

British pop star Marvin Humes writes, "Absolutely devastated to hear the news of @RioFerdy5's wife Rebecca. So so sad. My family's thoughts and prayers are with all yours bro (sic). RIP" and Westlife star Nicky Byrne paid his respects, posting, "Sending all my thoughts to Rio Ferdinand and his children today. Heartbreaking."