Rio Ferdinand has spoken about telling his children that their mother was "going to go up into the stars".
The former footballer has written a very emotional account of the moment in his book Thinking Out Loud - Love, Grief And Being Mum And Dad, which is being serialised in The Sun.
His wife, Rebecca, passed away in 2015 at the age of 34 after being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.
Writing about telling his children the news, he said: "I gazed at my beautiful children, lost for words, searching for a way to begin.
'I'm afraid I've got to tell you something very, very sad. Mum's not going to be able to get out of here. She's got cancer again and this time she isn't going to get better'."
He continued: (I said) 'She's going to be a star - she's going to go up into the stars as a spirit, and she'll always be there in the sky, looking down on us and…'
"I couldn't go on. Tears were streaming down the children's faces; they were sobbing, crying out.
"'Why? Why? Why?' Tate kept wailing, over and over. 'What are you talking about?'
"I tried to explain again, but we were beyond words by then; engulfed in a firestorm of pain.
"Even now, the memory of that scene is enough to plunge me back into a darkness I never want to see again.
"As the children broke down and sobbed, I held them tight, staring out of the window. All I could think was, 'F**king hell, could someone please help me?'."
Rio and Rebecca have three children together – Lorenz, 10, Tate, eight years old, and six-year-old Tia.
He is now dating former TOWIE star Kate Wright, who has since decided to quit being in the public eye to help Rio raise his kids.
Readers affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 (www.macmillan.org.uk) or Cancer Research UK on 0300 123 102 (www.cancerresearchuk.org). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the American Cancer Society on 1-800-227-2345 (www.cancer.org)
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