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10 February 2020, 20:00 | Updated: 10 February 2020, 20:01
Rebecca Ellison tragically passed away after a battle with cancer in 2015.
Rio and Kate: Becoming A Stepfamily airs on BBC One tonight, and it tells the story of the newlywed couple's journey that has seen Kate Ferdinand become stepmum to his three kids - sons Lorenz, 13, and Tate, 11, and eight-year-old daughter, Tia.
The childrens' mum Rebecca Ellison tragically passed away of breast cancer in 2015.
Rebecca was a fitness trainer from Essex, who later trained as an accountant. She met Rio in the late 1990s while he was playing for West Ham. The couple got married in 2009.
She gave birth to Lorenz in 2006, and Tate was born in 2009. The couple then welcomed daughter Tia in 2011.
Rebecca tragically died of breast cancer in 2015 when she was 34 years old.
Rio announced that she had passed away in a statement reading: "My soul mate slipped away last night.
"Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
"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."
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This is a hugely important and personal project for @rioferdy5 and I. For the last year we have been filming a new @bbcone documentary ‘Rio and Kate: Becoming a Step Family’ We have been on such a journey and we really hope the film will help other step families and those experiencing the journey of grief 🙏🏻 coming soon ❤️
Rio later wrote in his autobiography: "I no longer have days when all I can do is cancel my plans and curl up in a ball.
"It is only nights that can still undo me. I usually wake up between 2-3am, when the horror of what my children have lost hits me again, keeping me awake until dawn."
Rio and Kate began dating in 2017, and announced their engagement in 2018. The couple got married last year in Turkey. They both star together in new BBC documentary Rio and Kate: Becoming A Stepfamily, which airs on BBC One at 9PM on 10 February.