Rio Ferdinand reveals he played while DRUNK at West Ham

Rio Ferdinand reveals he played while DRUNK after downing three brandy and Cokes in a lounge at Arsenal with West Ham in the Premier League… with Manchester United icon having admitted parts of his career ‘are a blur’

  • Rio Ferdinand made a late substitute appearance against Arsenal in 1996
  • The former defender has revealed he was drunk when he came on the pitch
  • The then 17-year-old had originally not been in the matchday squad at Highbury
  • But he replaced Slaven Bilic in a 2-0 defeat for the Hammers at Arsenal 

Rio Ferdinand has revealed he played while drunk for West Ham against Arsenal when he was just 17.

The former defender had not been part of the Hammers’ matchday squad for a trip to Highbury in August 1996.

But he had to be drafted in at the eleventh hour after Paulo Future refused to play because he had not been handed the No 10 shirt as promised.

Rio Ferdinand has revealed he played while drunk after downing three brandy and Cokes

Speaking on The Mo Gilligan Podcast, Ferdinand said he had downed three brandy and Cokes in the players’ lounge, before West Ham’s kit man had to rush up from the dressing room to tell him he was involved.

Ferdinand said: ‘I had a brandy and Coke in my hand. “Put it down”.

‘I was like, “Rah, had three brandy and Cokes and about to play at Highbury”.’

Fortunately for Ferdinand he started the match on the substitutes’ bench, but he was brought on for Slaven Bilic with just three minutes remaining. 

He added: ‘I was on the bench thinking, “Please don’t let me come on, three brandy and Cokes, I can’t come on this pitch”. And then I came on.’

Ferdinand recounted how he had to man mark Arsenal legend Ian Wright during the game, which ended as a 2-0 defeat for Harry Redknapp’s side.  

Ferdinand began his glittering career at West Ham (left), before he moved to Leeds in 2000

He said: ‘I remember we got a corner and the ball was at the other end obviously.

‘I’m on the halfway line marking Wrighty and it is all starting, people getting into position and Wrighty is standing there just looking at me.

‘He was just screwing me and I’m just trying to look over him just not taking any notice and Wrighty’s gone ‘I know you can see me, look at me, look at me’.

‘And then he poked his big fingers in my forehead so I pushed and he went ‘I got you’.’

Ferdinand has previously opened up about his drinking days during his career, and admitted to The Guardian in 2019: ‘I always say to people who ask if I have any regrets about playing, I wouldn’t have drunk alcohol.

‘When I was younger I did [drink more]. I was a lunatic. When I was at West Ham … elements of my career are a blur. People talk about performances and results at certain times in them games and I just sit and nod my head. 

‘I haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about. I don’t remember.’ 

Ferdinand celebrates Manchester United’s last league triumph in 2013 with Sir Alex Ferguson

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article