Les Ferdinand

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Les Ferdinand
MBE
LesFerdinandMay2015 (cropped).JPG
Ferdinand watching a Queens Park Rangers match in 2015
Personal information
Full name Leslie Ferdinand[1]
Date of birth (1966-12-08) 8 December 1966 (age 53)[2]
Place of birth Acton, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[3]
Playing position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Queens Park Rangers (director of football)
Youth career
Southall
1985–1986 Hayes
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1987 Hayes 33 (19)
1987–1995 Queens Park Rangers 163 (80)
1988Brentford (loan) 3 (0)
1988–1989Beşiktaş (loan) 24 (14)
1995–1997 Newcastle United 68 (41)
1997–2003 Tottenham Hotspur 118 (33)
2003 West Ham United 14 (2)
2003–2004 Leicester City 29 (12)
2004–2005 Bolton Wanderers 12 (1)
2005 Reading 12 (1)
2005–2006 Watford 0 (0)
Total 443 (184)
National team
1998 England B 1 (1)
1993–1998 England 17 (5)
Teams managed
2015 Queens Park Rangers (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Leslie Ferdinand MBE (born 8 December 1966)[4] is an English former professional footballer and current coach and who is the director of football at Queens Park Rangers.

A striker, his playing career included spells at Queens Park Rangers, Beşiktaş, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers, Reading and Watford during which period he earned 17 caps for England. Ferdinand is the eighth highest scorer in the Premier League with 149 goals[5] and he contributed a further 49 assists in the division.[3]

Early and personal life[edit]

Ferdinand was born in Acton, Greater London.[6] He is the cousin of football-playing brothers Rio and Anton Ferdinand and Woking player Kane Ferdinand.[7]

His autobiography, Sir Les, was published in 1997.[8][9][10][11]

He was made an MBE in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours.[12]

In an interview with the Evening Standard in February 2020, Ferdinand admitted to having suffered racist abuse from his own fans at QPR during his stints as a player and director of football.[13]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Ferdinand started his career in non-league football, first at AEL (a KOPA Cypriot team in England) then to Southall then moving to Hayes. He was spotted by Queens Park Rangers and moved there for £50,000.[14]

Queens Park Rangers[edit]

Ferdinand made his QPR debut on 20 April 1987, aged 20, as a substitute in the 4–0 league defeat by Coventry City at Highfield Road – the first of two league appearances that season. He played a further league game in 1987–88, and was loaned for three games to Third Division Brentford. In 1988, he was loaned to Turkish side Beşiktaş for a season, and performed well with 14 goals in 24 league games and he also got his first taste of silverware, helping the club to a 3–1 aggregate victory over Fenerbahçe S.K. in the Turkish Cup.[15]

He returned to the QPR side for the 1989–90 season, and appeared in nine First Division matches as well as scoring his first two English league goals. He fared better in 1990–91, playing in 18 league games and scoring eight goals as QPR ended up in a mid-table position. His 10 goals from 23 games in 1991–92 helped ensure QPR's status as founder members of the new FA Premier League for the 1992–93 season, and it was during this campaign that he established himself as a top striker, scoring 20 goals in 37 games as QPR finished fifth — the highest placed of all the London sides.

His fine form continued into 1993–94, during which his 16 goals from 36 games helped QPR finish ninth. Despite mounting speculation of a move to either Manchester United or Arsenal, he signed a two-year contract with QPR that summer.[16]

In 1994–95, he scored 24 times in the Premier League and speculation grew that he would soon be on his way to a bigger club. In nearly a decade at Loftus Road, he played under four different managers – Jim Smith, Trevor Francis, Don Howe and Gerry Francis.[17]

Newcastle United[edit]

Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle in 1995 for £6 million, with Hayes receiving £600,000 due to a sell-on clause agreed following his move to QPR. With the money received, Hayes built a function suite and named it "The Ferdinand Suite" in his honour.[13] His arrival at the club came nearly three years after the Magpies had offered QPR £3.3million for him during their Division One promotion season — but the offer had been turned down.[18]

The spell on Tyneside was arguably Ferdinand's most successful club tenure. He scored 29 goals in his first season with Newcastle, and significantly contributed to the side's getting within touching distance of the Premiership title in the 1995–96 season.[14] Newcastle led the league by 12 points at one stage, but were overhauled by Manchester United in the final three months of the season.[19][20]

In both of his seasons on Tyneside, Ferdinand collected runners-up medals in the Premier League.[21] In the second season, they contested a four-horse race with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool before Manchester United won the title. Midway through the 1996–97 season, however, came a change, as manager Kevin Keegan surprisingly departed Newcastle and was replaced by Kenny Dalglish.[22] Despite the Scot being regretful to lose such a talented striker, it quickly became apparent Ferdinand would be dispensed to free up funds for further signings.[23] In an interview with Sky Sports in 2019, Ferdinand admitted that he regretted leaving Newcastle and had hoped at the time to stay on Tyneside for the rest of his career.[23]

Ferdinand scored 50 goals in only 84 games at Newcastle, forming a successful strike partnership with Alan Shearer. He was very highly thought of by the Newcastle United supporters during his spell with the club and is known affectionately as 'Sir Les' on Tyneside.[21]

Ferdinand received a standing ovation when he returned to St. James' Park as a Tottenham player, trying to put Alan Shearer's number 9 shirt on to complete a lap of honour, he broke down in tears and could only manage to put the shirt on inside out and back to front before being helped from the field. Ferdinand returned again, when he also received a standing ovation, coming on as a substitute at Alan Shearer's testimonial and subsequently scored.

He was inducted into the Newcastle United Foundation Hall of Fame on 7 November 2017.[21]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

In 1997 Ferdinand was bought by Tottenham Hotspur, the club he supported as a boy, for £6 million.[14] Injuries heavily disrupted his first season at the club, but towards the end of the campaign he formed a good partnership with Jürgen Klinsmann, and the pair's goals saved Spurs from relegation from the Premiership.[14] Ferdinand helped Spurs win the League Cup in 1999, defeating Leicester City 1–0 in the final at Wembley, but injuries restricted him to just 12 goals in his first three seasons at the club.[14][24][25]

He improved his goal-scoring return over the next two seasons, contributing 10 goals in the 2000–01 season and a further 15 during the 2001–02 campaign. Ferdinand scored the 10,000th goal in Premiership history on 15 December 2001 for Spurs against Fulham.[26] He played in a second League Cup final for the club against Blackburn Rovers in 2002, but was thwarted by three saves by Rovers' goalkeeper Brad Friedel as Spurs lost 2–1.[27]

Later career[edit]

After struggling to find a place in Spurs' first team season following Glenn Hoddle's purchase of Robbie Keane from Leeds, he moved to West Ham United on 21 January 2003 for an undisclosed fee.[28] He scored his first goal for the club against former club Tottenham,[29] but was unable to prevent the club's relegation from the Premier League and opted to remain in the top flight by signing for newly promoted Leicester City on a free transfer. While at Leicester Ferdinand scored 14 Premiership goals, despite being 37 years old. After the Foxes were relegated at the end of that season, he rejected a new contract and joined Bolton Wanderers.[30]

Ferdinand memorably scored for Bolton Wanderers against rivals Manchester United in the last minute, despite playing from a centre back position, which looked to have given the Wanderers the win, but a goal from David Bellion even deeper in injury time gave United a point.[31] This goal, his last in the Premier League, came three months before his 38th birthday.[32]

He found opportunities from the start limited, but proved useful for all his experience when coming off the substitutes` bench, and scored against former club Tottenham in the League Cup, with what proved to be a mere consolation goal in a 4–3 thriller which Bolton lost.[33] He left them on 2 January 2005. Four days later, he signed with Reading. His contract at the club lasted until the end of the 2004–05 season. He scored one league goal in his time at Reading, in a 2–1 loss to Coventry.[34]

Ferdinand committed to non-contract terms with Watford during the 2005–06, but did not play a competitive game for the club and left after their promotion to the Premier League via the Football League Championship playoffs. He retired from football a few months short of his 40th birthday.[14]

International career[edit]

Ferdinand made his England debut in February 1993 against San Marino, scoring the final goal in a 6–0 victory at Wembley.[35] Ferdinand was capped 17 times, scoring five goals. He was part of the Euro 96 and 1998 FIFA World Cup squads.[12]

Coaching career[edit]

On 5 November 2008 Ferdinand joined fellow ex-Tottenham player Tim Sherwood on the coaching staff of Tottenham Hotspur, to work with the strikers.[36][37] Ferdinand left the club on 19 June 2014.[38] On 4 February 2015, Ferdinand became the director of football at Queens Park Rangers.[39]

Career statistics[edit]

Les Ferdinand at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Queens Park Rangers 1986–87 First Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1987–88 First Division 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
1989–90 First Division 9 2 0 0 0 0 9 2
1990–91 First Division 18 8 1 0 2 0 0 0 21 8
1991–92 First Division 23 10 0 0 2 2 1[a] 0 26 12
1992–93 Premier League 37 20 2 2 3 2 42 24
1993–94 Premier League 36 16 1 0 3 2 40 18
1994–95 Premier League 37 24 3 1 2 1 42 26
Total 163 80 7 3 13 7 1 0 184 90
Brentford (loan) 1987–88 Third Division 3 0 3 0
Beşiktaş (loan) 1988–89 Süper Lig 24 14 5 4 1 0 30 18
Newcastle United 1995–96 Premier League 37 25 2 1 5 3 44 29
1996–97 Premier League 31 16 3 1 1 0 5[b] 4 40 21
Total 68 41 5 2 6 3 5 4 84 50
Tottenham Hotspur 1997–98 Premier League 21 5 2 0 1 0 24 5
1998–99 Premier League 24 5 7 0 4 0 35 5
1999–2000 Premier League 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 2
2000–01 Premier League 28 10 4 0 3 0 35 10
2001–02 Premier League 25 9 3 1 5 5 33 15
2002–03 Premier League 11 2 0 0 2 0 13 2
Total 118 33 16 1 15 5 0 0 149 39
West Ham United 2002–03 Premier League 14 2 0 0 14 2
Leicester City 2003–04 Premier League 29 12 2 1 0 0 31 13
Bolton Wanderers 2004–05 Premier League 12 1 2 1 16 2
Reading 2004–05 Championship 12 1 2 0 12 1
Watford 2005–06 Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 443 184 37 11 36 16 7 4 523 215
  1. ^ Appearances in Full Members' Cup
  2. ^ Four appearances and 4 goals in UEFA Cup, one appearance in Charity Shield

Honours[edit]

Beşiktaş

Tottenham Hotspur

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Les Ferdinand". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ "'Sir' Les to arise with an MBE". BBC Sport. 10 June 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Les Ferdinand: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  4. ^ Weekend birthdays, "The Guardian", Guardian Newspapers Limited. (11 August 2007); accessed 15 August 2007.
  5. ^ "Stats". Premier League. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Les Ferdinand". 11v11.com. AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Peterborough United sign Kane Ferdinand from Southend". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  8. ^ L. Ferdinand (1997). Sir Les: The Autobiography of Les Ferdinand. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7472-1997-2. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  9. ^ Profile, soccerbase.com; accessed 22 June 2015.
  10. ^ Doyle, Paul (10 August 2007). "Small Talk: Les Ferdinand". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  11. ^ SPORT, BBC (21 October 2000). "Ferdinand and the Blue Peter scandal". London: BBC SPORT.
  12. ^ a b Kate O'Hara (11 June 2005). "Queen's Birthday Honours List". Yorkshire Post. Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Les Ferdinand interview: 'Top clubs don't have the patience to find players like me any more'". Evening Standard. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Names of the Nineties: Les Ferdinand". These Football Times. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Brits abroad - Les Ferdinand". Sky Sports. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  16. ^ Profile, google.com; accessed 22 June 2015.
  17. ^ Profile, sportingheroes.net; accessed 22 June 2015.
  18. ^ Hodgson, Derek (31 December 1992). "Football: QPR ready for Ferdinand offers". The Independent. London, UK.
  19. ^ "Manchester United hunted down Newcastle in 1996 - can they catch City from the same position in 2018?". Independent. 21 January 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Why Keegan's class of '96 blew a 12-point lead". Telegraph. 20 January 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  21. ^ a b c d "Les Ferdinand". NUFC. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Sir Kenny Dalglish – Ruined Newcastle United or just very very poor?". The Mag. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Les Ferdinand regretted leaving Newcastle for Tottenham". Sky Sports. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Leicester 0 Spurs 1". Spursodyssey. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  25. ^ "1999 League Cup Final". lcfc.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Premier League Milestone Goals". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Cole strike stuns Spurs". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 February 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  28. ^ "Ferdinand joins West Ham". BBC. 21 January 2003. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Hammers see off Spurs". BBC. 1 March 2003. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  30. ^ "Ferdinand joins Bolton". BBC Sport. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  31. ^ "Bolton 2–2 Man Utd". BBC. 11 September 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  32. ^ Martin, Clare (9 February 2010). "Goal-den oldies: Kevin Phillips becomes the latest Premier League veteran to hit the net". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  33. ^ "Bolton 3–4 Tottenham (aet)". BBC. 27 October 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  34. ^ "Reading 1–2 Coventry". BBC. 19 February 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  35. ^ "Leslie Ferdinand". www.englandstats.com. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Ferdinand set for Tottenham role". BBC Sport. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  37. ^ Haynes, Deborah (5 November 2008). "Les Ferdinand is to return to Tottenham Hotspur". The Times. London, UK. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  38. ^ "The Club can announce that Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey have left the Club". Tottenham Hotspur. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  39. ^ Les Ferdinand named Director of Football at Queens Park Rangers, qpr.co.uk; accessed 22 June 2015.
  40. ^ "Where is Les Ferdinand now?". Premier League Heroes. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  41. ^ "PFA Player of the Year winners 1974-2007". Telegraph. 27 April 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  42. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (1996). The 1996–97 Official PFA Footballers Factfile. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-1-85291-571-1.
  43. ^ "10 SEASONS AWARD WINNERS". Premier League. Archived from the original on 17 April 2003. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  44. ^ "Ferdinand scores Premiership's 10,000th goal". RTÉ Sport. 12 December 2001. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  45. ^ Dave Smith & Paul Taylor (2010). Of Fossils and Foxes. ISBN 978-1-905411-94-8.
  46. ^ "The official site of Leicester City Football Club". Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2011.

External links[edit]