[Rio Ferdinand/Instagram ]
Rio Ferdinand has revealed that his girlfriend Kate Wright has been “vitally important” for his children.
The former footballer, 39, has been dating the TOWIE star, 26, since early 2017 – and he claims his three kids have fallen in love with her.
Talking about her relationship with Lorenz, 11, Tate, nine and Tina, six, who he shared with late wife Rebecca Ellison, Rio told The Times Magazine: “My relationship with Kate has helped in that they have got a female in the house now.
“They run past me sometimes to go to her. I’ve had to go through a period of being very, very open, and men aren’t normally like that naturally.
“So having that extra person in the house who is female, who has that softer touch, I think is vitally important for the kids.
Rio’s sweet comments come after Kate recently opened up about her experiences of being a step-mum, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she was determined to keep talking about Rebecca with them.
Rio Ferdinand appeared on This Morning to open up about an upcoming documentary about his life [ITV ]
[Kate Wright/ Instagram]
She said: “You only have one mum, their mum is irreplaceable. There’s a special room in the house, for their [late] mum and their nan – they might do homework there for example.
“We always celebrate Rebecca’s birthday, we all go to cemetery together. We do talk about their mum, I know a lot more about her than they think.”
Kate and Rio’s relationship appears to have gone from strength to strength since she quit ITV show TOWIE to focus on her new family.
The pair met at a barbecue in Dubai, and while they kept their relationship out of the public eye at first they soon let the world know they were serious, sharing a series of sweet family snaps alongside the children.
“The kids are a really big part of our relationship,” Kate revealed in an interview on This Morning.
“Everything we’ve done we included them – from the first date, to me moving in, to asking me to be his girlfriend.
“The kids were always part of it – I had to make sure I wasn’t taking their dad away from them.”