Rio Ferdinand has shown his support for Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate, by starring in a video for the royals' Heads Together mental health campaign. In the clip, Rio opens up about losing his wife Rebecca and how he struggled to talk about his grief at the beginning. The footballer is seen chatting to his agent and close friend Jamie Moralee, who admitted that he also found it hard to broach the subject with Rio.
"I think it was about six months into Rebecca's passing when we were in Qatar, that I plucked up the courage if you like, even though I've known you 20 years, to actually say, how are you?" said Jamie. "And start to sort of mention some memories – what a fantastic lady she was, and it got us talking and after 15, 20 minutes we ended up both sort of crying our eyes out on the beach."
Rio and close friend Jamie Moralee discussed the footballer's grief
Rio, who has three children with his late wife Rebecca, agreed, saying: "All the first few months it was, 'What am I going to do with the kids?' School run, the basic stuff, and obviously sorting out the funeral, and making sure everyone's alright. You don't really look at yourself and you don't really think about chatting."
The sportsman, 38, said it was a "release" to have that first conversation about his grief. "I think in these situations you need to have the ability to get these feelings out," said Rio. "And I think it doesn't just help you, it helps all the people close because they then feel more comfortable, because everyone just feels awkward."
Rio's wife Rebecca passed away in 2015
Rio lost his wife Rebecca to cancer in May 2015. He has raised his three children Lorenz, ten, Tate, eight, and five-year-old Tia as a single dad, and recently shared his experience in BBC documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad.
The dad-of-three is one of the latest stars to show his support for Heads Together, the mental health campaign spearheaded by Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate. Each week in the run-up to the London Marathon, Heads Together will be releasing two short films featuring celebrities and non-celebrities talking about mental health.