Being Mum And Dad: Rio Ferdinand opens up about suicidal thoughts following wife Rebecca's death

Rio Ferdinand retired from professional football in 2015Michael Regan/Getty Images

Former footballer Rio Ferdinand breaks down in heart-wrenching scenes in BBC1 documentary Being Mum And Dad where he speaks about grieving for his wife Rebecca, who died two years ago aged 34.

The former England and Manchester United ace, 38, speaks on suicidal thoughts and helping his children cope with the loss of their mother, who died of breast cancer in 2015.

During the programme, where he meets with other men who have lost their wives, he says: "When I used to hear about people who'd committed suicide I'd think, 'You selfish so-and-so, how can you do something like that?'

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"But there's a time at the beginning [when] you kind of know how they feel."

Ferdinand confesses to struggling with life as a single parent, making remarks to the Radio Times before the broadcast of the BBC documentary, which is set to air tonight (28 March).

He admits to feeling inadequate when dealing with his children now that Rebecca is gone, stating: "She used to fix their beds a certain way, and when they'd tell me it almost felt like a slight. I'd think: 'Whatever I do isn't going to be good enough.'"

A distraught Rio Ferdinand on the BBC1 documentaryBBC

He also claims that his initial role as father to children Lorenz, Tate and Tia was "the easy part" compared to Rebecca, adding: "I used to wake up, get dressed, have some breakfast with them, and then I'd take them, drop them off and get out and go to training, and think I was doing my bit. But that's the easy bit... Where are their shoes? Where are their clothes? Where are their bags?"

The show sees Ferdinand confide in a therapist about his eldest son Lorenz, 10, who has barely spoken about his mother's death, claiming: "I get nothing out of the two boys."

He speaks of his own grief, believing he hasn't made time to properly "flush everything out".

Ferdinand adds: "I don't think I've grieved properly. I've not given myself that time to sit down and really flush everything out and go through it. I don't like to think. I don't want certain thoughts running around my head."

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On meeting other dads in similar positions, he says: "There were so many situations where I thought 'Oh, I thought that was just me.' I know I haven't moved on. I don't see myself taking off my wedding ring."

Ferdinand also claims that he turned to drinking whisky and brandy when he first dealt with the shock of losing Rebecca.

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad airs on BBC1 tonight at 9pm.

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