Ashley Cole gushed about his baby son in a heartfelt post to mark his first birthday on Tuesday (28.02.17).

The 36-year-old soccer star - who is the ex-husband of singer Cheryl - took to Twitter to share with his 2.5 million how thankful he is to have a child that ''makes his heart melt'' and how being a parent ''exceeds'' having fortune and nice things.

Ashley - who shares his son, whose name is unknown, with Italian model Sharon Canu - wrote on the micro-blogging site: ''Today is the 28th of February. It's a day I cherish and will never forget for the rest of my life.

''I've been incredibly fortunate to have most things I've wanted in life: Cars, houses, watches, clothes.

''Coming from East London with not a lot growing up, and a mum looking after two boys alone, life wasn't easy.

''So of course it's easy to lose your way in life sometimes - to forget about the things that are most important.

''But this morning I woke up to something that exceeds anything I've ever had before; a smile that never goes away.

''Every day I wake up to the most beautiful thing I could dream of: A son that makes my heart melt, a son that never stops smiling, a son that can make me laugh no matter what kind of mood I'm in, a son that I'm proud of, a son I watch fall asleep because I never want to leave him, a son who reminded me what's most important in life (sic).''

The hunky sports star's post comes just a week after his former Girls Aloud singer ex-spouse, Cheryl - who married Ashley in 2006 but split from him in 2010 following revelations he had cheated on her with other women - confirmed she is expecting a baby with One Direction star, Liam Payne, 23.

The 'Crazy Stupid Love' hitmaker, 33, had refused to publicly confirm the news she is set to welcome a little baby girl or boy into the world with her boyfriend, but revealed all as she posed in a skintight black dress for a campaign for L'Oreal.

At the time, a source said: ''Cheryl is confident, proud and very ready to become a mum.''