Grieving footballer Rio Ferdinand had thought his wife Rebecca would live for at least another five years before her sudden death after a battle with breast cancer, it has been reported.
The 34-year-old mother-of-three was diagnosed with cancer last year but appeared to have beaten the disease.
Unortunately a scan earlier this year revealed it had returned and spread to her bones and she died just five weeks later on May 1, 2015.
A source close to the family has said her death came as a shock to the Queen’s Park Rangers and former England defender, as they had been told Ms Ellison’s life expectancy would be another ‘two to five years.’
They source, according to Sunday Times, said doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London even told Rio she was well enough to be able to go home for a visit.
The source said: ‘Her life expectancy was two to five years.
‘I don’t know how Rio’s going to come back from this. Rebecca kept him grounded.
‘He is devastated. It was so sudden. He’s set to retire this season, then he will have to look at rebuilding his life.’
Ms Ellison, a former fitness trainer, met Ferdinand, 36, while he was at West Ham United in the late 1990s. The couple married in the Caribbean in 2009. She is mother to their three children Lorenz, nine, Tate, six, and four-year-old Tia.
On Tuesday, May 16, 2015, she was laid to rest in a private funeral at a ceremony in Bromley, attended by many of her husband’s former Manchester United team mates.
Among those in attendance at the wake was Ferdinand’s former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as Robin van Persie, Edwin van der Saar, Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher.
The source also told the paper how many mourners at Ms Ellison’s funeral last week wept throughout the service and how the colour black was banned meaning people wore colours.
After the service the footballer’s sister Sian thanked friends and fans for their condolences, saying the support of the footballing community ‘hadn’t got unnoticed’.
Ferdinand made the announcement of his wife’s tragic death via the official Queen’s Park Rangers website, and paid tribute to his ‘soulmate’.
He said: ‘She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children.
‘She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. 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.’
Ms Ellison maintained a low profile throughout her husband’s career, which has been marred by claims of off-field excesses, affairs, and an eight-month ban in 2003 for missing a drugs test.
Ferdinand described her as his ‘rock’ and once said in an interview: ‘My wife isn’t into the celeb thing at all. She wasn’t interested in the flashy life; she’s no WAG [Wives and Girlfriends]. She trained as an accountant andwould never even go to a football game if I wasn’t playing.’