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Leslie "Les" Ferdinand MBE (born 8 December 1966 in Paddingtonmarker, Londonmarker) is a former Englishmarker footballer. His playing career included spells at Reading, Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bolton Wanderers F.C., during which period he earned a number of appearances for England. He became the first player to score for 6 different Premier League clubs.

He is the cousin of current Premier League players Rio and Anton Ferdinand and his son Aaron currently plays for Harrow Borough in the Isthmian League. Popularly nicknamed Sir Les, he was made an MBE in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

On 5 November 2008 Ferdinand joined fellow ex-Spur Tim Sherwood on the coaching staff of Tottenham Hotspur, utilising his experience to work with the strikers.

Club career

Early career

Les Ferdinand started his career in non-league football, first at AEL (a KOPA Cypriot team in England) then to Southallmarker then moving to Hayes. He was spotted by Queens Park Rangers and moved there for £30,000.

QPR

Ferdinand made only a handful of appearances in his early QPR career. He had two loan spells at Brentford and Turkish side Beşiktaş. He began to establish himself at QPR in 1991 and in his first full season in 1992–93, he scored an impressive 24 goals in 42 games. Ferdinand scored 90 goals in 183 games for QPR. He is regarded as one of the finest players to have played for QPR and as such the fans gave him the nickname 'Sir Les', which followed him throughout his career. His departure from QPR in 1995 contributed towards their relegation the following season in 1996, and they have yet to return to the Premier League.

Newcastle United

Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle in 1995 for £6 million, with Hayes receiving £600,000 due to a sell-on clause agreed following his move to QPR (with the money received Hayes built a function suite and named it 'The Ferdinand Suite' in his honour). This was arguably Ferdinand's most successful club tenure. He scored 29 goals in his first season with Newcastle, and significantly contributed to the side's getting within touching distance of the Premiership title in the 1995–96 season.

In both of his seasons on Tynesidemarker, Ferdinand collected runners-up medals in the Premier League. In the second season, they had contested a four-horse race with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool before Manchester United won the title. In the first season, however, Newcastle had led the league by 12 points at one stage, but were overhauled by United in the final three months of the season.

Ferdinand scored 50 goals in only 84 games at Newcastle, forming a successful partnership with Alan Shearer. He was and indeed is still very highly thought of by Newcastle United and received a standing ovation when he came on as a substitute at Alan Shearer's testimonial and subsequently scored.

Tottenham Hotspur

In 1997 Ferdinand was bought by Tottenham Hotspur, the club he supported as a boy, again for £6 million. Injuries heavily disrupted his first season at the club, but towards the end of the campaign he formed a good partnership with Jürgen Klinsmann, and the pair's goals saved Spurs from relegation from the Premiership. Ferdinand helped Spurs win the League Cup in 1999, defeating Leicester City 1–0 in the final at Wembleymarker, but injuries restricted him to just 12 goals in his first three seasons at the club.

He scored 10 goals in the 2000–01 season and 15 in 2001–02. He played in a second League Cup final for the club, against Blackburn Roversmarker, but was thwarted by three saves by Rovers' goalkeeper Brad Friedel as Spurs lost 2–1. Ferdinand scored the 10,000th goal in Premiership history on 15 December 2001 for Spurs against Fulham.

Later career

In January 2003, he moved to West Ham United, and scored his first goal for the club against former club Tottenham, but was unable to prevent the club's relegation from the Premier League and opted to remain in the top flight by signing for newly promoted Leicester City on a free transfer. While at Leicester Ferdinand scored 14 Premiership goals, despite being 37 years old. After the Foxes were relegated at the end of that season he joined Bolton Wanderers.

Ferdinand memorably scored for Bolton Wanderers against rivals Manchester United in the last minute, which looked to have given the Wanderers the win, but a goal from David Bellion even deeper in injury time gave United a point. He found opportunities from the start limited, but proved useful for all his experience when coming off the substitutes` bench, and scored against former club Tottenham in the Carling Cup, with what proved to be a mere consolation goal in a 4-3 thriller which Bolton lost. He left them on 2 January 2005. Four days later, he signed with Reading. His contract at the club lasted until the end of the 2004–05 season. He scored one league goal in his time at Reading, in a 2-1 loss to Coventry.

Ferdinand committed to non-contract terms with Watford during the 2005–06, but did not play a competitive game for the club and left after their promotion to the Premier League via the Football League Championship playoffs. He retired from football a few months short of his 40th birthday.

International career

Ferdinand made his England debut in February 1993 against San Marino, scoring the final goal, a scissor kick, in a 6–0 victory at Wembleymarker.

For England, Ferdinand was capped 17 times, scoring five goals. He was part of the Euro 96 and 1998 FIFA World Cup squads. Despite his successful season with Newcastle he did not play a game in 1996, and an injury meant he did not play a match in 1998.

Career statistics



Les Ferdinand mentioned that he has not taken a penalty during his entire career on 28th Nov 2009 as a guest host on Football Channel.

Post-playing career and personal interests

Ferdinand was a pundit for BBC Sport. Beginning with the 2007–08season, he is a pundit on Setanta's Premiership coverage. In November 2008 he was offered a coaching role at one of his former clubs, Tottenham Hotspur. He still works for the BBC part time, on the weekend program Final Score.

He played and scored in a Soccer Aid match at Old Traffordmarker.He has also been involved in various fundraising events for Cancer Research UKin honour of his mother Adrienne, who died of breast canceron 12 February 1990. In July 2007 he visited a number of Sport Relieffunded projects in Uganda.

With fellow former footballers John Barnesand Luther Blissett, he has founded Team48 Motorsport, a team aiming to promote young racing drivers of Afro-Caribbean background. For 2008, they enter the British Touring Car Championship, running Alfa Romeos for white Jamaicanmarker Matthew Gore and 18-year-old black Briton Darelle Wilson.

Ferdinand is a qualified helicopter pilot and owns at least one helicopter, which he regularly uses.

Ferdinand has for many years been thought to have been connected (along with Dennis Wise) with the vandalism of the Blue Petermarker garden in 1984; however, he has always rejected these claims.Although at one point he claimed to have "helped a few lads over the wall", he later claimed to have been joking.

Ferdinand is also a resident punditat Setanta Sportswith ex-England International teammate, Steve McManaman.

Ferdinand has appeared on the popular BBC2programme Top Gear, posting a lap-time of 1:47.4 in the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' feature.

Club Playing honours

Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü


Newcastle United F.C.


Tottenham Hotspur F.C.


Bolton Wanderers F.C.


References

  1. Weekend birthdays, "The Guardian", Guardian Newspapers Limited. (August 11, 2007). Accessed on August 15, 2007.


External links



1986-87 Queens Park Rangers First Division 2 0
1987-88 1 0
1987-88 Brentford Third Division 3 0

1988-89 Beşiktaş Süper Lig 24 14

1989-90 Queens Park Rangers First Division 9 2
1990-91 18 8
1991-92 23 10
1992-93 Premier League 37 20
1993-94 36 16
1994-95 37 24
1995-96 Newcastle United Premier League 37 25
1996-97 31 16
1997-98 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 21 5
1998-99 24 5
1999-00 9 2
2000-01 28 10
2001-02 25 9
2002-03 11 2
2002-03 West Ham United Premier League 14 2
2003-04 Leicester City Premier League 29 12
2004-05 Bolton Wanderers Premier League 12 1
2004-05 Reading Championship 12 1
2005-06 Watford Championship 0 0
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