Football star Rio Ferdinand has revealed that his let wife wanted him to look for love after she passed away.
Rio shared that his wife Rebecca, who died of breast cancer in 2015, didn’t want him to be alone.
The former England defender is currently dating Kate Wright, who used to star on the hit reality show The Only Way Is Essex.
The pair have been involved since January but have kept a low profile. They wanted to keep their relationship under wraps.
Rio found out about his late wife’s wishes when he spoke to her close friend Lisa, who has supported his new relationship.
Lisa told him Rebecca would want him to date again. She’d hate to see her husband of six years feeling lonely.
His wife admitted to her friend Lisa that the idea of Rio dating someone new was painful, “It kills me to think of Rio with a new partner, Lisa, you know it does. Of course it does.”
Rebecca didn’t want Rio to feel miserable so she told her friend to pass on her blessing when it was the right time.
Before she passed away Rebecca said the thought of Rio being lonely made her feel even worse than the idea of him moving on.
She said, “I don't want Rio to be miserable. I want him to be happy.”
Rio said Lisa, who was his wife’s best friend, has been a huge support to him since his wife’s passing. He praised Lisa for her never-ending love and encouragement.
She was the person who pushed Rio to date again because she knew it’s what her best friend Rebecca would have wanted.
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When talking about Lisa Rio said, “"It's a measure of Lisa's love that she put aside her feelings and gave the relationship her whole-hearted encouragement. I will be forever in her debt."
Rio believes he owes a lot to Lisa who he often turns to for advice.
She was the person he confided in when he started to develop feelings for TOWIE star Kate.
He felt unsure about pursuing his feelings for the reality star because he was in an emotionally vulnerable state.
The 38-year-old has been dating Kate Wright for the past nine months. Kate has grown close to his family and friends during the year.
She has stepped away from her career in show business to focus on her relationship and Rio’s family.
The couple has agreed to stay out of the public eye and Kate is spending her time taking care of her partner and his three young children.