The former footballer and TOWIE star Kate have been together since January 2017

It sounds like things between Rio Ferdinand and Kate Wright couldn’t be better, as he’s revealed his children absolutely love her.

Retired footballer Rio, 39, is dad to Lorenz, Tate and Tia, and there’s no denying the past few years have been difficult for them after his wife and their mum Rebecca lost her battle with cancer in 2015.

And Rio confessed having Kate around has been beneficial to the children, telling The Times magazine: ‘My relationship with Kate has helped in that they have got a female in the house now.

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‘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 that is vitally important for the kids.’

Rio’s comments come after Kate told how the kids want them to have a baby! During an appearance on This Morning last week, the former TOWIE star said: ‘It’s really funny because at the beginning I could never imagine the kids would talk about it.

MORE: Kate Wright gives hilarious insight into daily life with cheeky Rio Ferdinand 

‘It started with Tate, when I went to the school, saying, “Oh, that’s my aunt who is picking me up”. And then, “That’s my dad’s girlfriend”. And now he says, “It’s my step mum”.’

Kate added: ‘And now, I would say on a daily basis, they go, “Oh, when are you giving us a brother or sister?” They ask if we’re having a baby yet and I say no!’