BAFTA: Rio Ferdinand emotional while paying tribute to late wife

Ferdinand gestured to his girlfriend Kate, who was looking on from the studio audience, and thanked her for her support.

London: English former professional footballer Rio Ferdinand was close to tears when he accepted a British Academy Television Award on Sunday night for a film he made about his late wife Rebecca Ellison.

The footballer paid tribute to Rebecca in his emotional acceptance speech at The Royal Festival Hall here, while also thanking his "beautiful" girlfriend Kate Wright, 26, for her support, reports

On the night, there were a few more surprises on the podium, including Netflix's first ever TV BAFTA for "The Crown", a win for "Love Island", which caused uproar among fans, and also a snub for David Attenborough, whose "Blue Planet II" show missed out on the top gong.

A tearful Ferdinand accepted the Single Documentary Award for "Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad", which aired on BBC One last June.

In the special, Ferdinand depicted the difficulties of being a single parent to his three children following the death of his beloved wife to cancer in 2015.

Fighting back tears, the retired sports star accepted the award by saying: "I'm normally quite used to picking up trophies. Thanks to BAFTA and all the other nominees, but also to BBC for believing in the project, all the guys at New Era, the management team, it's been quite a crazy whirlwind experience.

"I didn't do this for any other reason other than my three kids. The worst thing to come out of this is that I get quite emotional now. I'm not quite used to it."

Ferdinand gestured to his girlfriend Kate, who was looking on from the studio audience, and thanked her for her support.