Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand has claimed he played in the Premier League after consuming three brandy and cokes.
Ferdinand was initially not one of the matchday squad for West Ham’s match against Arsenal during the 1996-97 season – but, as part of the travelling party, ended up being called onto the bench for the match.
The defender, who was only 17 at the time, was drafted into the squad after Paulo Futre – who was signed from AC Milan – stormed out of the stadium after being told he would not be wearing the No.10 shirt against Arsenal.
And Ferdinand explained how he had to psych himself up to play a Premier League match after having three drinks.
“I was at West Ham and I was in the squad and did not get changed, so went up to the bar and had three brandy and cokes,” former Man Utd defender Ferdinand told The Mo Gilligan Podcast. “Then the kit man came and said ‘you’ve got to get changed’… as I had a brandy and coke in my hand.
“So I was like, oh. I put it down and have had three brandy and cokes and need to go play at Highbury. What’s going on?
“My first appearance at Highbury; I was 17, 18. So I went downstairs and was asked, ‘Are you alright?’ – I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine’ and I was right, I’m buzzing!
“Next thing, Paulo Futre walked out as he left because he wasn’t No.10. He looked at the numbers saw he wasn’t No.10 and walked out.
“[West Ham manager] Harry Redknapp was like, ‘We’ll sort it out next week, Paulo, we’ll change it, we’ll sort it.’
“Paulo just got in a taxi and went home. He left Highbury before a ball had been kicked.
“So I was brought down into the squad and then I came on. I was on the bench thinking please don’t bring me on. Three brandy and cokes, I can’t come on this pitch. I can’t come on and make an example of myself.
“So I went on for about 15 minutes.”
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