Former Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed hoe he coped following the death of his wife Rebecca Ellison in 2015.
The BT Sport analyst revealed he turned to drink after the death of his wife – and admitted he could ‘understand’ why people would want to take their own life.
The former Manchester United and England defender has had to raise Lorenz, ten, Tate, eight, and Tia, five, since Rebecca lost a cancer battle two years ago.
Ferdinand said: “You realise playing football was a f***ing walk in the park compared to telling your kids their mum isn’t coming back.
“I’ve never had to do something so hard, so emotionally draining and testing. At the time you think, ‘I’m coping.’ You’re sitting there, the kids are in bed, you can’t sleep, but you don’t want to think about anything.
“That’s when the problems start. I never understood suicidee.
“Then you sit there and you can understand how people get that low. It’s a lonely dark place.
“I can easily see why you just slip over that edge.”
Ferdinand, 38, is making a one-off documentary about how men cope as a single parent for the BBC which will air in late 2017.
The former footballer is believed to be dating Towie’s Kate Wright and friends are happy he has found love with the beauty who he met while holidaying in Dubai.
A source told The Sun: “Rio went through hell when Rebecca died and he has been grieving for her for a long time, all while caring for their children.
“At times he has been to some very dark places. But he has pulled himself through and is now a great mum and dad, just as Rebecca said he would be.
“For a long time he couldn’t even think about the idea of another relationship. And he can’t bring himself to take off his wedding ring.
“But those closest to him are pleased to see him slowly getting closer to Kate. After everything he’s been through, he deserves to find some happiness.”