Rio Ferdinand played for West Ham after three brandy drinks after row over shirt

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Rio Ferdinand once played for West Ham United against Arsenal after drinking three brandy and Cokes when he was called into the squad as a late replacement for Paulo Futre.

Futre was set to make his debut for the Hammers but stormed out after finding out he would not be wearing the No. 10 shirt he felt had been promised to him.

As a result, Ferdinand was added to the squad and he was told of the news by West Ham's kit man while he was in the Highbury lounge drinking brandy and Coke.

Speaking to the Sun, Ferdinand said: "I had a brandy and Coke in my hand. 'Put it down'.

"I was like, 'Rah, had three brandy and Cokes and about to play at Highbury'."

Ferdinand ended being one of three substitutes to be made by manager Harry Redknapp, replacing Slaven Bilic in the 87th minute with West Ham already 2-0 down.

He added: "I was on the bench thinking, 'Please don’t let me come on, three brandy and Cokes, I can't come on this pitch'. And then I came on."

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The Hammers ultimately lost the game and Futre went on to make his debut in the 1-1 draw against Coventry after persuading John Moncur to give up the No. 10 shirt.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Futre recalled: "We'd agreed on that contract clause [about the No. 10 shirt] and I played the whole of pre-season with it.

"Then came our first game at Arsenal. I'd warmed up, had a shower and was about to get changed when I saw the No.16 jersey waiting for me. I shouted, “No, not f**king 16! Number 10!

"There are a few things from my career that I don't feel comfortable telling my children about, and that was one of them. But then in 2011, my oldest son phoned me and said, 'Dad, I'm proud of you'.

"I asked him why, and he said he'd watched a video of Redknapp saying the maddest moment he experienced was when I refused to play. I never thought my son would be proud. Then I realised that if I'd accepted the situation, I would have been the little coward that didn't stick to his word.

"Was it easy convincing Moncur to swap? I had a house in the Algarve, overlooking the best golf course anyone could find. I knew he liked golf, so I said he was welcome to go there whenever he wanted. He never had the chance in the end, because I only stayed at West Ham for a short time!"

  • Rio Ferdinand
  • West Ham FC

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