Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has come out to share one of his chronicles as a professional footballer, saying he played in the Premier League after consuming three bottles of brandy and cokes.
Rio Ferdinand who started his PL career with the Hammers as a teenager was initially not one of the matchday squad for the London Derby against Arsenal during the 1996-97 season, but he travelled with the team and ended up being called onto the bench for the match.
The former three Lions defender was a 17 year old boy at the time when he made the matchday squad after Paulo Futre furiously left the stadium for being denied the No 10 Jersey against Arsenal.
Ferdinand explained how he had to speak to himself up to play a Premier League match after having three bottles of alcohol.
“I was at West Ham and I was in the squad and did not get changed, so went up to the bar and had three brandy and cokes,” former Man Utd defender Ferdinand told The Mo Gilligan Podcast. “Then the kit man came and said ‘you’ve got to get changed’… as I had a brandy and coke in my hand.
“So I was like, oh. I put it down and have had three brandy and cokes and need to go play at Highbury. What’s going on?
“My first appearance at Highbury; I was 17, 18. So I went downstairs and was asked, ‘Are you alright?’ – I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine’ and I was right, I’m buzzing!
“Next thing, Paulo Futre walked out as he left because he wasn’t No.10. He looked at the numbers saw he wasn’t No.10 and walked out.
“[West Ham manager] Harry Redknapp was like, ‘We’ll sort it out next week, Paulo, we’ll change it, we’ll sort it.’
“Paulo just got in a taxi and went home. He left Highbury before a ball had been kicked.
“So I was brought down into the squad and then I came on. I was on the bench thinking please don’t bring me on. Three brandy and cokes, I can’t come on this pitch. I can’t come on and make an example of myself.
“So I went on for about 15 minutes.”