The Rio Ferdinand factfile

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The Independent Online

1978: Born November 8, Peckham. Cousin of England international Les Ferdinand.

1995: Turns professional with West Ham after coming through the youth ranks with the London club.

Member of the side which wins the South-East Counties Championship in 1996 and collects an FA Youth Cup runners-up medal.

1996: Makes Hammers debut as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Upton Park in May. Loaned out to Bournemouth in November and makes 11 appearances for the Cherries.

1997: Scores his first goal for the Hammers in the 2-1 defeat at Blackburn in February and makes 14 appearances that season. Picked for the England Under-21s by Peter Taylor before making his full international debut against Cameroon at Wembley in November.

1998: Named in Glenn Hoddle's England squad for the World Cup finals. Although he does not play in France, he goes on to start the games against Luxembourg and the Czech Republic the following season.

1999: Makes his 100th Premiership appearance against Leicester in January and plays for England against France, Hungary and Sweden.

2000: Comes on as a substitute for England against Argentina at Wembley in February but is left out of the full England squad for Euro 2000 by Kevin Keegan.

After turning down two previous bids, West Ham finally bring to an end a long-running saga by accepting an £18million offer from Leeds for the defender in November.

Ferdinand signs a five-and-a-half-year contract at Elland Road and the deal smashes the British transfer record.

Makes Leeds debut in a 3-1 defeat at Leicester, two weeks after playing against his new club in his final game for West Ham.

2001: Scores first goal for Leeds in Champions League quarter-final against Deportivo La Coruna and follows that up with efforts against Liverpool and former club West Ham in the Premiership. Season ends in disappointment as Liverpool take final Champions League qualifying place ahead of Leeds.

Now firmly established at the heart of England's defence, Ferdinand is outstanding as Sven-Goran Eriksson's side thrash Germany 5-1 in September and then beat Greece to qualify for the World Cup a month later.

2002: Value continues to soar even though Leeds go out of the FA Cup to Cardiff in the third round, lose to PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Cup fourth round and finish fifth in the league.

June - Outstanding during England's run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Forms a brilliant partnership with Sol Campbell that concedes only one goal prior to defeat by Brazil in last eight. Scores first international goal in 3-0 win over Denmark in second round.

July 21 - Four days after handing in a transfer request, Leeds agree £30million fee with Manchester United for Ferdinand to move to Old Trafford.

August 27 - Finally made his competitive United debut after missing the season's opening exchanges with an ankle injury. United defeat Zalaegerszeg 5-0 at Old Trafford to reach the Champions League group stages 5-1 on aggregate.

September 14 - On the losing side on his return to Elland Road, as Leeds defeat Manchester United 1-0 in the Barclaycard Premiership.

October 6 - Faces a lay-off of several weeks because of an exploratory operation on his right knee.

November 12 - Limps off injured five minutes from the end of United's 2-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen at old Trafford.

November 15 - Ruled out for at least three weeks with a thigh strain.

2003: March - United are beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in the Worthington Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

April - Helps England to a crucial 2-0 win over Euro 2004 rivals Turkey at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

May - Ferdinand picks up a Premiership winner's medal as United finish five points clear of Arsenal.

Meets Nelson Mandela as England travel to South Africa for a 2-1 friendly win in Durban.

August - Arsenal are beaten on penalties as Manchester United win the FA Community Shield in Cardiff.

October 1 - Ferdinand gives away a penalty, which is saved, as United lose their Champions League match in Stuttgart 2-1.

October 6 - Reported to the Football Association for failing to attend a drugs test - a matter that can in some circumstances carry a maximum two-year ban.

October 7 - Left out of England squad for crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey because of drugs controversy.

October 29 - Charged with misconduct by the FA for "the failure or refusal by a player to submit to drug testing as required by a competent official".

December 18 - Independent three-man panel find the case against Ferdinand proven and impose an eight-month ban and £50,000 fine. Manchester United immediately announce they will appeal against a "savage and unprecedented" ruling.

2004: January 16 - Ferdinand announced he would appeal against his ban for failing to take a drugs test but decided to begin the suspension on January 20.

March 18 - A three-man panel turned down Ferdinand's appeal against his ban and upheld the original eight-month suspension.

September 20 - Returns in 2-1 Premiership defeat of Liverpool at Old Trafford.

2005: May 21 - Season ends in disappointment with FA Cup final defeat at hands of Arsenal, leaving United without a trophy.

July 3 - United chief executive David Gill defends Ferdinand against allegations of disloyalty for his failure to sign new £100,000-a-week extension to his contract, after Ferguson called on the England defender to commit his future to Old Trafford.

August 8 - After being booed by United supporters in pre-season games in Japan, and at Antwerp, Clyde and Peterborough, Ferdinand agrees new four-year deal at Old Trafford.

2008: March 25 - Announced he would replace John Terry as England captain for the friendly against France.

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