Widely considered one of the world’s greatest former footballers, Rio Ferdinand, is known internationally for his achievements as the leader of Manchester United and the England squad. Now an accomplished football pundit and global celebrity, Rio utilises his platform to hold essential conversations on the topic of mental health, having experienced emotional turmoil after his wife passed away. Acting as a role model to others, Rio shares his personal journey with audiences of his talks, in a moving and insightful presentation, where he offers actionable strategies to improve mental health.
Best recognised for his time spent with Manchester United Football Club, Rio dedicated 12 years to the side, where he appeared on 312 occasions playing in centre-back position. Earning the captaincy for his impressive performance on the pitch, under Rio’s leadership the team won the 2008 Champions League final, a career highlight for the sports star. In his club career Rio won 6 Premier League titles, & the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008 Equally prominent in his commitment to the England national side, Rio secured 81 caps for his country, including in 10 World Cup finals.
For his undeniable talent as a player, Rio has been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and was named amongst the Premier League Team of the Year on six occasions. Since retiring from professional play in 2015, Rio has become a popular football pundit for BT Sport, known for his commentary on the Premier League and FA Cup matches.
Despite his fame and fortune, Rio has endured the hardship of loss like any other, when his wife died from cancer in 2015. Releasing a memoir documenting her life and illness ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and taking part in the documentary ‘Being Mum and Dad’ allowed Rio to share his experiences of grieving, depression and anxiety. Additionally, he has worked with Heads Together and Prince Harry on encouraging conversations on mental health, a truly inspiring sports hero who continues the conversation surrounding mental health as a speaker.