Factfile: Rio Ferdinand announces retirement from England

The Manchester United defender collected 81 caps

1978: Born November 8, Peckham.

1995: Turns professional with West Ham.

1996: May - Makes West Ham debut as substitute in draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

1997: February - Scores first West Ham goal in defeat at Blackburn.

November - Becomes youngest defender to play for England when he makes debut against Cameroon at Wembley.

1998: Named in Glenn Hoddle's England World Cup squad but does not play at tournament in France.

2000: Left out of the England squad for Euro 2000 by Kevin Keegan. Makes British record £18million move to Leeds in November.

2002: Scores first England goal in 3-0 win over Denmark in World Cup second round.

July 21 - Leeds agree to sell Ferdinand to Manchester United for £29.1million, making him the world's most expensive defender.

2003: May - Earns first Premier League winner's medal.

October - Reported to the Football Association for failing to attend a drugs test, and left out of England squad for Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey because of the controversy.

December 18 - Receives eight-month ban and £50,000 fine over missed drugs test.

2004: January 20 - Ferdinand begins his ban, which means he misses Euro 2004.

2005: August 8 - Agrees new four-year deal with United.

2007: November 21 - Absent through injury as England lose 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

2008: March 26 - Captains England for the first time and wins his 65th cap in 1-0 defeat in France.

May 15 - Signs new five-year United deal.

May 21 - Captains United to a Champions League final victory over Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in Moscow.

2009: May 16 - United wrap up third successive Premier League title.

May 27 - Part of United team beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in Champions League final.

2010: February 5 - Succeeds John Terry as England skipper after Chelsea defender is stripped of post by manager Fabio Capello following allegations about Terry's private life.

June 4 - Ruled out of World Cup after injuring ligaments in his left knee in training.

2011: March 19 - Loses England captaincy to Terry, ahead of Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.

May - Wins another Premier League title with United - his fifth. United lose 3-1 to Barca in Champions League final at Wembley.

2012: February - Rules himself out of the running to captain England after Terry is stripped of the duty pending the outcome of a July trial. Terry is due to answer a charge of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, but is later acquitted.

May 16 - Left out of England's squad for Euro 2012. He later writes on Twitter: "Absolutely loved playing for england... to say I'm gutted is an understatement of the highest order..."

August 17 - Fined £45,000 by the FA for acknowledging a tweet which referred to Ashley Cole - who gave evidence in defence of John Terry in his trial - as a 'choc ice'.

December 9 - Struck by a coin thrown from the crowd at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium as United claim a 3-2 derby victory.

2013: March 5 - Escapes UEFA action after sarcastically applauding Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir at the end of home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

March 14 - Recalled to the England squad for World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro but pulls out four days later due to concerns over a long-standing back injury.

March 21 - Forced to defend his decision to fly to Qatar to work as a television pundit for England's game against San Marino. Hodgson responds by saying he will "wait and see" when asked about Ferdinand's international future.

May 15 - Announces his retirement from England duty.

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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