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Footballers past and present, Sports men and women and fans have been paying tribute to Rio Ferdinand after a documentary about the death of his wife Rebecca was aired on BBC One.

Ferdinand lost wife Rebecca to breast cancer in 2015, leaving the former Manchester United player to bring up their three children on his own.

Speaking in the documentary, Ferdinand revealed how low he sunk immediately after Rebecca's passing.

"I would read papers, and see people who commit suicide and wonder, 'how?'" he said.

"But there were times at beginning, you kind of know how they feel.

"But when I look at my three kids, I couldn't do that to them."

Rio Ferdinand met Rebecca, a former fitness trainer and accountant, while he was at West Ham United in the late 1990s

Following his heartbreaking documentary, Being Mum And Dad on the BBC on Tuesday night, Rio discussed the battle he faced in dealing with his children's grief.

'To put it into words and my kids at the time were nine, seven and four, and to break it down into little people's thinking and words in a way they can understand it, without being scarred, by that one little message that I give them, I hope I can give them a message that they can look back on and say, you know what he did that in the best way possible at that time.'

Rio also recalled another painful moment, when his son saw cards on the wall of the hospital thanking members of staff for their hard work, that highlighted to him how difficult it can be to translate things to children.

'I said that they [the cards] were thank you messages for staff up on the wall and he said "Well they didn't help my mum."

The way that kids just see things in black and white and that's it, his day went on, it hits home that I've got a lot of work to do,' Rio explained.

Rio Ferdinand with his tragic wife Rebecca, who died of cancer in 2015

Rio Ferdinand told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: 'For any parent to tell your children, you're going to leave the hospital and not see your mum ever again, it's a hard thing to do'

Scroll down and watch the video

Rio Ferdinand's Documentary Being Mum And Dad.

FANS pay Tribute

My opinion- Rio's documentary Being Mum And Dad was Heartbreaking to watch, I was crying while watching it, I can relate to what they're going through as I lost my mum in 2014 and my elder brother in 2015, it's a very difficult thing to process