Rio Ferdinand reveals confrontation with gang of hooded Manchester United fans
'United boys' wanted centre-back to sign new contract
Wednesday 02 January 2013
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed he was confronted by a gang of hooded fans during his contract talks with the club eight years ago.
The group calling themselves the 'United boys' turned up outside the player's house to demand that he signed a new deal.
Ferdinand's future had been the subject of speculation at the time after he had been photographed with then Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon in a restaurant, but that had been a chance encounter.
Ferdinand was asked to come to the door but could not see anyone on his security monitors.
The 34-year-old told Four Four Two magazine: "So I go to the side door and grab a big bit of wood, jump on the side of the wall and I'm just about to scream 'raaaah!' when I see there's a massive group of people, with hoodies and caps covering their faces.
"I just thought, 'I'm going to get served up in a moment, so go bananas and they'll think you're a nutter!'
"Then one of them said, 'We're the United boys, f***ing sign your contract,' and I was like, 'What you talking about? I've only just started negotiating two months ago, what you worrying about?"'
Explaining the background, he added: "Basically I went to see my agent for half an hour and Kenyon was with him.
"Someone's taken a picture and made out like we're having a bloody meal together. So I'm saying to these guys, 'If I'm going to do a deal with another club, do you think I'd be doing it in broad daylight?'
"One of the neighbours had called the police by then and they got off when they heard the sirens."
Ferdinand, in a question and answer section with fans, also spoke of the lowest point of his career, when he was banned for eight months after failing to attend a drugs test in 2003.
He said: "If that sort of thing can't make you more responsible then I don't know what can.
"People assume I must have had something to hide but I did all the tests that were asked in the end and the judge said I had proved beyond any doubt I had nothing in my system - those tests trace stuff from months back.
"So I never had any doubt in my mind, it was just irresponsible of me not to go to the test at the time and I got punished severely for it.
"Eight months of my career just gone, just like that. It was easily the lowest point of my career, especially as I knew people were trying to tarnish my name by saying I was into drugs.
"That's the most disappointing thing for me, that people assumed I was involved in drugs or had something to hide."
Latest in Sport
Have Liverpool found the next Luis Suarez? Reds give trial to Uruguayan wonderkid Juan Manuel Sanabria
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Manchester United 2015/16 kit unveiled: Morgan Schneiderlin leads the Adidas campaign as new shirt is launched
Ashes 2015: Mitchell Johnson goads England fans as Edgbaston crowd shows little mercy for Australia
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband