Rio Ferdinand has paid tribute to Kate Wright for taking his daughter, Tia, under her wing in the absence of her mother.

The football veteran – who lost his wife, Rebecca Ellison, to cancer back in 2018 – thanked his new partner Kate for making his ‘heart pump’ for being so brilliant with their children.

In a sweet Instagram post about his ‘girls,’ he wrote: ‘Makes my [heart] pump even stronger when I see these 2 (@xkatiewright & tia) out and about together on girls days out.’

Rio has three children – Lorenz, 12, Tate, 10, and Tia, eight – with Rebecca and since joining their family, Kate, has made it her mission to make sure their mother’s memory is never lost.

She even quit TOWIE – the show responsible for making her famous – to live a more private life with Rio and the children.

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On her decision to turn her back on reality TV, she admitted: ‘I felt like I had two choices. I was in this world that had a lot of drama, it was very public.

The pair are now engaged and looking to the future as a family after Rebecca gave Rio her blessing to move on before she passed away.

40-year-old Rio’s romantic tribute to Kate, 28, delighted fans who were concerned after she shared a cryptic post about being ‘let down’ last month.

These two are total goals!

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