Rio Ferdinand gushes about girlfriend Kate Wright in emotional post on social media

Rio Ferdinand has taken to social media to gush about his girlfriend Kate Wright, saying that she spread ‘brightness’ in what was otherwise a ‘tough’ year.

Rio and Kate took some very big steps last year, including moving in together, and now the former footballer took a moment to reflect on the past 12 months.

Taking to Instagram, the dad-of-three wrote an emotional post dedicated to his other half and thanked her for spreading ‘brightness’ in his life.

Captioning the cute snap, he 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.’

He continued: ‘Christmas being just 1 example, all the thoughtful little details that make things that much better for all of us 😘 little throwback pic’.

Fans clearly loved the sportsman’s tribute, and joined in to show love to the former TOWIE star.

One fan wrote: ‘@rioferdy5 you and your children deserve so much happiness, so glad @xkatiewright brings you all that! Wishing you the best year ahead 💫’.

A second commented: ‘Great to see you together and Katie making you all happy. Totally beautiful person. All the very best for all of you for the future x.’

‘A Step-Parent who loves and cares for the children like their own is worth their weight in gold. Step-Parents choose to love the children without any effort @xkatiewright you are so lovely’, a third added.

Cheeky night out with this one ❤️ #Rosso

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

It’s not the first time Rio has gushed about his girlfriend Kate. The 39-year-old called her ‘family’ when he posted a picture of her and his three children on holiday in Dubai, and often posts pictures of them on date nights and working out together.

2017 was a ‘tough’ year for Rio as he lost his mum Janice in July, after ‘an ongoing battle with cancer’.

The devastating loss happened only two years after he lost his wife Rebecca, who also died of cancer.

Rio’s tribute comes after Kate shared a similar post on social media, where she said 2017 had its ‘ups and downs’, but that she gained ‘four of the most precious people’.