'Perfect end to holiday' as Rio Ferdinand and girlfriend Kate announce engagement
Rio Ferdinand and his reality TV star girlfriend Kate Wright have told of their happiness after getting engaged.
The couple shared photographs taken on the helipad of the St Regis Hotel atop the Nation Towers in Abu Dhabi.
The images show the pair embracing and dressed in white against a bright skyline.
They announced the news on Instagram, with Ferdinand writing: "She said yes" followed by a ring and heart emoji.
He added: "How these 3 kids kept it a secret I'll never know."
His three children, Lorenz (12), Tate (10), and Tia, seven, who he had with his late wife, look on during the proposal.
Former The Only Way Is Essex star Wright wrote: "The perfect end to our holiday ... How could the answer not be yes."
Ferdinand spoke about his relationship with Wright for the first time on ITV's This Morning in October 2017.
The former Manchester United footballer has said how having a female figure in the lives of his children has helped them cope with the death of their mum, Rebecca who died aged 34 in 2015 after being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.
Last year he spoke movingly with Northern Ireland golfer Darren Clarke about their shared sense of loss for a BBC documentary. Clarke lost his wife Heather to the disease, aged 39, in 2006.
He subsequently founded the Darren Clarke Foundation, which helps further the development of junior golf in Ireland and raises money for breast cancer awareness.
Ferdinand previously admitted that he and Kate had spoken about marriage regularly, but they were in no hurry to tie the knot.
The football pundit also spoke about the positive impact Kate has had on his children since the tragic passing of their mother.
He said: "My relationship with Kate has helped in that they have got a female in the house now."
Speaking to the Daily Mail earlier this year, Kate said: "The kids would like a little brother or sister; they say, "I dreamt that you were pregnant". But right now we're just happy with our little unit." Kate also explained that she saw the ex-footballer and his brood as a package and "fell in love with them" as soon as she met the trio.
In spite of her close relationship with Rio's children, Kate has said their late mother is "irreplaceable" and she works hard to keep Rebecca's memory alive.
She added: "You only have one mum. Their mum is irreplaceable."