Rio Ferdinand has posted a heartfelt tribute to his girlfriend Kate Wright, revealing that she brightened up a tough year for his family. The former footballer shared a throwback photo of himself and Kate from a recent holiday to Dubai. The pair look happy as they pose for a fun shot in their matching hotel hats. Rio wrote: "To say 2017 has been a tough year would be a huge understatement. Some dark moments but brightness has been spread around me and mine by this one in many different forms. Christmas being just 1 example, all the thoughtful little details that make things that much better for all of us 😘 little throwback pic."
Rio shared this throwback photo of himself and Kate on Instagram
Rio's followers were quick to comment on the sweet message. One told him: "After dark times it’s lovely to see someone happy. Good luck for 2018." A second fan said: "You and your children deserve so much happiness, so glad @xkatiewright brings you all that! Wishing you the best year ahead." One commented: "Good for you Rio. Wishing you all happiness."
Rio and Kate celebrate New Years
Rio lost his wife Rebecca in 2015 following a short battle with cancer, leaving him as the primary carer for his three children, Lorenz, Tate and Tia. During an appearance on This Morning, he admitted that he is finally happy again. "I'm really happy now, the kids are really happy, it's the happiest they've been," Rio shared. "I'm in a relationship and it's going well. My kids deserve to be happy, they've had tragedy for the last few years of their lives."
Former TOWIE star Kate shared a photo of Rio's children
Rio and Kate have been dating for just over a year and in September, Kate announced that she was stepping out of the spotlight to focus on her relationship with the footballer and his three kids. Taking to Instagram on New Year, Kate posted her own tribute to Rio and his children. Kate wrote: "2017... the hardest but most rewarding year yet! Ups & downs but I have gained 4 of the most precious people.... Happy new year everyone, I hope your year is filled with health & happiness, keep your loved ones close."