Rio Ferdinand has revealed his children sometimes run past him and into the arms of his reality TV star girlfriend.
In an interview with The Times Magazine, the former England captain, 39, spoke about losing his wife and the mother of his three children in 2015.
Rebecca, 34, died in her husband’s arms just 10 weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.
Ferdinand has since found love again, with former The Only Way Is Essex star Kate Wright.
The former Manchester United footballer has spoken about the importance of having a woman figure in the lives of his children, Lorenz, Tate and Tia.
He told the 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.”