Viewers were left in tears as footballer Rio Ferdinand opened up about life after the loss of his wife Rebecca.
The emotional sports star was hailed a “warrior”, “brave” and a “brilliant dad” by stars and fans alike as the father-of-three spoke candidly about the tragic death of his wife from cancer in heartbreaking BBC show Being Mum and Dad.
The former Manchester United and England defender lost his wife two years ago after a battle with cancer and looks after son Lorenz, 10, Tate, eight, and Tia, five alone.
In the show, he revealed that he had found support in an all-male bereavement group after he revealed “no one teaches you how to deal with loss.”
He added: “You realise playing football was a walk in the park compared to telling your kids their mum isn’t coming back.
“I’ve never had to do something so hard, so emotionally draining and testing.
“At the time you think, ‘I’m coping.’ You’re sitting there, the kids are in bed, you can’t sleep, but you don’t want to think about anything.
“That’s when the problems start. I never understood suicide.
“Then you sit there and you can understand how people get that low. It’s a lonely dark place.
“I can easily see why you just slip over that edge.”
He also admitted that even though he is still not ready to take off his wedding ring, he is slowly putting his life back together and admits that he thinks, “She would be looking down and saying, ‘Well done.’”
The moving documentary had fans praising his courage on social media.
One fan posted: “@rioferdy5 you are incredible for making this.”
Another wrote: “Absolutely heartbreaking. #appreciatewhatyouhave #neverthinkitsgoingtohappentoyou #BeingMumAndDad,” while a third put: “@rioferdy5 what a real man!”
An emotional telly watcher added: “Watching rio Ferdinand. What an amazing show and such an eye opener. These people are inspirational.”
Another fan said that the documentary was an important TV show for people going through similar circumstances.
“It would be impossible to overstate the importance of what #RioFerdinand is doing in this programme.”
His star mates also took to social media to congratulate him on the heart-tugging documentary.
Former cricketer Michael Vaughan wrote: “Please get BBC1 on now..Always had a huge amount of Respect @rioferdy5 .. This show is heart breaking .”
Emmerdale’s Charley Webb wrote: “So brave of Rio Ferdinand to make this documentary.Heartbreaking for him and his children and anyone else going through this right now.
New mum Stephanie Davis was also moved by the show and said: “Rio ferdinand being mum and dad has me in bits. So sad.”