Rio Ferdinand says Towie girlfriend Kate Wright makes him happy in touching This Morning interview

It's the first time Ferdinand has spoken about Wright in public.

Rio Ferdinand appears on This MorningITV

Rio Ferdinand has finally opened up about his romance with former Towie star Kate Wright during a televised interview on This Morning today (5 October).

The 38-year-old retired England footballer – who is now embarking on a career in boxing – appeared on the programme to discuss his new book, Thinking Out Loud.

Ferdinand spoke openly about overcoming grief and how Wright has had a "positive" effect on his life since losing his wife Rebecca Ellison in 2015 to breast cancer aged 34.

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Since sparking a romance with Wright, she has given up her TV career to focus on Ferdinand and raising his three children Lorenz, 11, Tate, nine, and Tia, six.

Ferdinand graced the morning programme without his wedding ring for the very first time, and looked casual in a black T-shirt and jeans worn with a dark green jacket.

He spoke about enduring his darkest days and how he allowed himself to be happy again by finding love with Wright, 26.

Ferdinand told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "Well I went and saw the widowers, they opened up about a few things. I went and saw Darren Clarke, the golfer [whose wife died in 2006], and there were so many parallels in our and he said 'look you will be happy again'."

He added: "To hear that from someone who had gone through the steps as me helped me open up. Now especially after that meeting that made me feel that there is an opportunity to be happy again. I'm happy again, and in a relationship and it's going well."

The wannabe boxer added that his new relationship has had a positive effect on the whole family, which doesn't come as a surprise since Wright holidayed with the Ferdinand clan in Portugal this summer.

Ferdinand continued: "The kids are also happy, they deserve to be after going through tragedy in the last few years of their life. There's not been one stage of going into this relationship where they've not been involved.

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"As long as they feel they are involved and in the conversation I think there's a chance they can reach happiness," he added.

Ferdinand's romance with Wright appears to be going well, with the reality star posting a mirror selfie from his home gym earlier this month, along with several snaps with female members of his family.

The low-key couple have been dating since January this year and Wright has grown particularly close to his family in recent months, spending a holiday with them in Portugal a few weeks ago.

Speaking about her relationship to The Sun, Wright said recently: "I'm taking a step back from the public eye, I want to keep my life private as I lived my previous relationship on Towie, my priority right now is Rio and the family."

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