Rio Ferdinand: Sir Alex Ferguson was going to fine Ferdinand for not wearing Kick It Out T-shirt - until his wife convinced him not to

Ferdinand has revealed how the former United manager was fuming with the defender after he refused to wear the T-shirt following the John Terry racism row

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Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he only avoided a fine from Manchester United when he refused to wear a Kick It Out campaign T-shirt because Sir Alex Ferguson’s wife Cathy convinced United’s then-manager that he was wrong to do so.

35-year-old Ferdinand has made a string of revelations in his new autobiography #2Sides, which is currently being serialised by The Sun.

The incident in question is in reference to the fallout from the John Terry race row in October 2011, where the Chelsea captain was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton Ferdinand.

Rio was one of many that felt the anti-racism campaign has not given Anton the right support and backing in his allegation after they refused to attend the court hearing – with Ferdinand choosing not to wear the shirt when every player in the Premier League was to do so on the same weekend.


Ferdinand said: “The Group had refused to come to the court so I was not willing to go through the charade of wearing their shirt, my parents would not have accepted it.

“When the manager [Ferguson] found it he raged: ‘Who do you f***ing think you are? I have told everybody you would wear it.’

Rio Ferdinand chose not to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt

“I said: ‘You didn’t ask me. I was never going to wear it, I didn’t tell you to go on TV and say I would.’

“He said: “’That’s it, you are fined a week’s wages.’

“The next day I had to go and see him. He was sat down, I was standing. He said: ‘Look, I know it is your family but I just didn’t agree with you. You have got to support causes like this. I am a union man.’”

But Ferguson would then go on to admit that his wife Cathy had spoken to him about the refusal that night, and she had convinced the Scot that on a rare, rare occasion, he was wrong.

Ferdinand added: “Then he said: ‘I talked to my wife, and she said did you ask the boy? When I said I didn’t, she said: there’s your mistake then. I don’t often admit mistakes, but I am not going to fine you. I should have spoken to you, that is my mistake and I accept that. I still believe you should have worn it, but I respect that you didn’t.’”

Rio Ferdinand with Sir Alex Ferguson following his signing for a then British-record £30m fee from Leeds Utd

Despite already spending nine years under the guidance of Ferguson, Ferdinand admitted that it was that one-on-one conversation with the legendary manager that took his respect for him up a notch.

“I was so impressed,” said Ferdinand. “My respect for him went up even more.”