Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will write a book about coping with the death of his wife Rebecca for Hodder & Stoughton, scheduled for this October.
The famous player-turned-pundit’s wife died aged 34 in May 2015 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, leaving behind three children who were then aged under 10-years-old.
Thinking Out Loud will explore how he and the family are finding their way to cope with her loss.
It will be written with Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian journalist and author of her own book on grief and loss All At Sea (Fourth Estate).
The title follows a recent BBC Documentary Being “Mum and Dad” which followed the sportsman as he met other families coping with bereavement as he tried to come to terms with his own, which was watched by millions.
Hodder & Stoughton publishers Rowena Webb and Hannah Black acquired world rights to the book from New Era Global Productions.
Webb said: “Like everyone who watched Rio’s documentary, I was incredibly moved by his openness and courage. He has broken the taboo, especially for men, in sharing the difficult emotions and family issues grief gives rise to. I’m proud, as we all are at Hodder, to publish his book and bring his important help to so many people.”
Ferdinand said he wanted to help other people to cope with bereavement through the book.
“After Rebecca died, I just wanted to put everything, the feelings, the hurt, the shock, into a box and leave it there,” he said. “I didn’t know what to say to my children, I felt I didn’t have the answers for them, but I wanted to know what they were thinking and feeling, I wanted to reach them. Gradually over time we’ve found our way, it’s been a hard journey and I’ve had to learn to find ways of asking for help and talking about it. I really hope that in writing this book it might help other people who know someone close is going to pass away through illness, who have lost loved ones or who’ve experienced some kind of loss, find their way through it too.”
Black said that by telling his story, Ferdinand was showing there was “no shame” to be found in sadness or in asking for help, “but rather a different kind of strength and a powerful expression of love”.
The star has previously published three books - Rio: My Story with Headline in 2007, which sold 33,171 copies through Nielsen BookScan, Rio: My Decade As A Red with Bonnier Books in 2013, which sold 5,600 copies and #2sides: Rio Ferdinand - My Autobiography with Bonnier Publishing imprint Blink in 2014, which sold 36,026 units.
Thinking Out Loud will be published on the 5th October 2017 priced £20.00.