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Rio Ferdinand reveals how he spent first days after wife Rebecca died

Ainhoa Barcelona

Rio Ferdinand has shared his struggle in raising his three children without his wife Rebecca, who sadly died from cancer in 2015. Writing a column in this week's HELLO! magazine, Rio opened up about adjusting to life as a single parent. He recalled how the first few days after his wife's death were particularly challenging.

The moment Rio told his children their mother had passed away

Admitting that he was "distraught" and in a "daze of confusion", Rio wrote: "The first ten days were one of the most stressful times. Every turn I made I was getting things wrong. I'd never had to think about making lunch or even seeing the washing machine and dryer. I knew what they did, but not how they worked." He revealed: "When the kids were in bed I used to drink quite hard. Because I had people helping, it was almost as if I didn't have to wake up, but then I thought, 'Okay, I've got responsibilities now.'"

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Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca died in 2015

The former England football captain, 38, admitted that taking his children Lorenz, ten, Tate, eight, and five-year-old Tia to school was "tough". He wrote: "We men are quite ignorant about women who stay at home and look after the family; we see that as not being a job. But it's a hard job. I always used to take my kids to school if I was there, but would wake up ten minutes before we had to go and they were already showered, fed and dressed; all I had to do was put them in the car and drive them there."

How Rio is keeping his wife's memory alive for his children

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Rio has been raising their three children as a single dad

He continued: "When the kids returned to school, I woke up in the morning, scrambling around the house. It was the first time they'd ever been late. They said: 'Mum wouldn't do this.'"

Pick up this week's issue of HELLO! magazine out now for the full comment piece.

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad is on BBC1 on Tuesday 28 March at 9pm.