Rio Ferdinand Biography

Sun 26 September 2021 | 14:30

How much do you know about Rio Ferdinand biography? Join us to review detailed information on Rio Ferdinand's life.

Rio Gavin Ferdinand, widely known as Ferdz, is one of the most decorated English footballers of all time. Born in Camberwell,


, Rio Ferdinand started his career with various youth teams, and finally, he set at

West Ham United

. In 199, the English footballer made his debut in Premier League, becoming a fan favorite, and the following season winning the Hammer of the Year award.

His extraordinary performance attracted Leeds United, and he moved to the English club for £18 million, a record-breaking fee. The English footballer spent two seasons at the Peacocks, and in 2002, Ferdz transferred to Manchester United for around £30 million.

The following year, Rio Ferdinand was banned from football for eight months because of missing a drugs test. After returning, the strong footballer established himself in the Red Devils' first team and featured in the PFA Team of the Year four times. Ferdinand spent 12 seasons at the Red Devils, where he won 14 trophies, including six Premier League titles, two Football League Cups, and one UEFA Champions League title. Before announcing his retirement on 30 May 2015, he played one season at Queens Park Rangers.

Rio Ferdinand, who is now a television pundit, played for the England national team between 1997 and 2011, winning 81 caps and becoming the second most capped black player. Currently, Ferdinand is a television pundit for BT Sport. He represented his country at 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cups. Stay tuned to read more about one of England's greatest ever players.

Everything you Need to Know about Rio Ferdinand

Let’s take a close look at Rio Ferdinand biography, which includes his career and personal life. In the following article, we will present you with all the detailed information about Rio Ferdinand, one of the best footballers in England history.

Rio Ferdinand Information

Sportmob's article on

Rio Ferdinand biography

will start with some general information about Rio Ferdinand physical stats and football information.

Rio Ferdinand Bio

  • Full Name: Rio Gavin Ferdinand

  • Nickname: Ferdz

  • Profession: Former Professional Football Player

Rio Ferdinand Physical Stats

  • Weight: 87            

  • Height: 189

  • Eye Color: Dark Brown

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Rio Ferdinand Football Information

  • Positon: Centre-back

  • Jersey Number: 5 (at Manchester United)

  • Professional Debut: 5 May 1996

Rio Ferdinand Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 7 November 1978

  • Birth Place: Camberwell, England

  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

  • Nationality: British

Rio Ferdinand Early Life

In this part of our article on

Rio Ferdinand biography

, we will review some facts about

Rio Ferdinand childhood

and family facts, from his early days to the time he became famous. Football fans know about Ferdz's skills, but few consider his bio, which is quite interesting. Rio Ferdinand's date of birth is 7 November 1978 at King's College Hospital in Camberwell, and also Rio Ferdinand's nationality is British.

In the case of Rio Ferdinand religious, you might know that he is a Christian. Ferdinand was born to an Afro-Saint Lucian father, Julian Ferdinand, and his late mother, Janice Lavender. His mother was only 17 when she gave birth to him. Janice Lavender was a childcarer, and Julian Ferdinand was a tailor; both of them had a large family. They never married, and when he was 14 years old, his parents separated, but Julian moved to a nearby estate, taking his kids to football training. Julian enrolled little Fredy at Camelot Primary School, where he focused on math, and one day he had the opportunity to perform before an audience. "I always as a kid wanted to do something different, I'd get bored very easily – even playing football or hanging around with my mates. So travelling away from home, meeting new people. ... I enjoyed it," said Ferdinand.

Ferdy attended Blackheath Bluecoat School, making new friends. Other than football, he took part in gymnastics classes, ballet, and theatre. When he was 11, Rio won a scholarship to attend the Central School of Ballet in London. His youth coach, David Goodwin said about Ferdy's abilities in football: "I'm going to call you Pelé, son, I like the way you play." In 1992 he joined West Ham United youth system. In January 1994, Ferdinand signed his first Youth Training Scheme contract, playing alongside Frank Lampard at the academy.

Rio Ferdinand Profile

In this section of Sportmob's article of

Rio Ferdinand bio

, we will present you with Rio Ferdinand's profile includes his style of play, goal celebration, and reception. On 5 May 1996, the British footballer played for the first time West Ham United's senior side against Sheffield Wednesday, coming on as a substitute for Tony Cottee. He went on to play for Bournemouth and Leeds United before joining Manchester United.

On 22 July 2002, Ferdz `moved to the Red Devils on a five-year deal, becoming the world's most expensive defender for a second time until Lilian Thuram in 2001. In his debut season, Ferdinand won the Premier League title with

Manchester United

. In September 2003, the British footballer did not attend the drug test and went shopping after training. He remembered and tried to attempt to test, but he was told it was too late.

Later Ferdinand passed the test and offered to have a hair follicle test, but the offer was not accepted by FA. The defender was banned from football for eight months and fined £50,000; as a result, Ferdy missed the rest of the season.

In May 2005, due to his refusal to sign a new contract, Ferdinand was booed by United's fans. In July, Ferguson took away his position as vice-captain to put pressure on him. Finally, the strong footballer signed a new four-year contract. He scored his first goal for the Red Devils on 14 December in a fixture against Wigan Athletic. During the 2007-08 season, Ferdz was part of the Red Devils defense that kept six clean sheets in a row.

On 18 April 2008, Ferdinand agreed to sign a new five-year contract with United, for around £130,000 a week. On 21 May 2008, in a Champions League Final against Chelsea, the defender captained Manchester United to victory. In that year, due to taunts aimed at Emile Heskey in the England fixture against Croatia, Ferdinand criticized FIFA's approach to tackling racism in football and said: "Croatia were fined a few thousand quid. What's that going to do? That is not going to stop people shouting racist or homophobic abuse...If things like this keep happening you have to take points off them. Then the punters will realise the team is going to be punished."

On 12 May 2013, the final goal of the Alex Ferguson era at Old Trafford was scored by Ferdinand. On 12 May 2014, he agreed to leave Manchester United and said: "I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world I have decided the time is right for me to move on. I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here," said Ferdinand.

The British footballer added: "Circumstances didn't allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked, but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I'll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club. I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge, and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me."

Rio Ferdinand spent 12 seasons at the Red Devils, scoring eight goals and providing nine assists during 455 appearances. In July 2014, Ferdinand joined Queens Park Rangers, and after one season, he announced his retirement from professional football.

As a member of England's national side, Rio Ferdinand represented his country in two World Cups (2002, 2006). On 15 November 1997, when he was 19, Ferdinand made his full debut for his country, becoming the youngest defender to play for England at the time. The defender won 81 caps for England, scoring three goals.

Style of play

Undoubtedly, Rio Ferdinand is one of the greatest defenders in England's history. During his playing time, Ferdinand was known for his skill, unique technical ability, confidence on the ball, and balance. Throughout his career, the British footballer was usually paired with a more physical centre-back because of his ball-playing ability and mobility. The Manchester United star also could play in the centre of a three-man backline.

Ferdinand, one of the best stoppers in the world, was praised for his, work-rate, pace, and tackling, as well as his consistency, positioning, ability to read the game, and intelligence. In his prime, Ferdinand possessed notable leadership qualities.


Rio Ferdinand was one of the best English footballers of his generation. He was praised for his ability to defend high balls and read the game. Frank Lampard, one of the best English footballers of all time, said about him: “I played with Rio for the first two or three years of my career. I saw he come through as a young boy – he started as a No 10 and moved himself back to centre-half. He practised heading – heading maybe 50 balls after training when he was 17 to improve his game. To then see him at Manchester United as an absolute world-beater was amazing because I knew how much it meant to him. He was top class.”

Also, Gerard Pique, one of world-class footballers, said about Ferdinand: "Now the position of the centre-back is not just about defending or being nasty or tough. It’s about knowing how to play football, control the ball, pass and be more comfortable in possession. This is something that 10 years ago [in England] they didn’t understand. Rio was the first one who did it."

Goal Celebration

The strong defender, Rio Ferdinand scored few goals for the Red Devils and England national team, but Ferdinand didn't have any unique goal celebration and celebrated his goals differently.

Rio Ferdinand Outside Football

Time to take a look at Rio Ferdinand's life outside of football, which includes his hobbies and favorite activities. Back in 2017, the former soccer star announced that he was ready for a new challenge and wanted to try his hand at pro boxing. "I’m doing this because it’s a challenge. I’ve won titles, and now I’m aiming for a belt," said Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand Personal Life

In this part of Sportmob's article on Rio Ferdinand Biography, we will bring you fascinating information about his love life, dating history, and children. Stay tuned to read more on

Rio Ferdinand life story


Family, Children, and Relationships

Rio Ferdinand got married to Rebecca Ellison, his late wife, in 2009. Rebecca was a former fitness trainer, and the couple began dating while he was playing at West Ham. The couple welcomed their first son, Lorenz, in 2006, and their second, Tate, was born three years later. Rebecca gave birth to their daughter, Tia, in 2011. After a short battle with breast cancer, Rebecca Ellison passed away on 1 May 2015, when she was only 34 years old.

Ferdinand said about his beloved wife's death: "My soul mate slipped away last night. Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration." In 2019, the former footballer married Kate Wright, famous for appearing in the hit reality show The Only Way Is Essex. The couple has a child, Cree, who was born in 2020.


Rio Ferdinand has the foundation, which is a youth and community development charity. The foundation supports young people in tackling the inequalities they face. It helps youngsters to take control of their lives and drive social change in their communities.

Legal Issuse

On 25 April 2010, the article "My Affair with England Captain Rio" was run by the Sunday Mirror. Carly Storey, an interior designer, reported an alleged relationship with Rio Ferdinand, and the footballer brought legal action and said he had not met Ms. Storey for six years. As a result, the English footballer lost his High Court privacy action over a story in the Sunday Mirror.

It is worth mentioning that Rio Ferdinand was banned from driving three times. First time in 1997, the former footballer was convicted of drink-driving and given a one-year driving ban. In 2003, and 2020, he again was banned from driving.

Rio Ferdinand Career Statistics

Now is the time to review Rio Ferdinand career on the club and international level.


The former English footballer played 684 times for five clubs (West Ham United, Bournemouth, Leeds United, Manchester United, and Queens Park Rangers). He scored 13 goals and provided 12 assists for his teammates.


On the international level, Rio Ferdinand scored three times in 81 appearances for his country. He also played for England U21 and U18.

Rio Ferdinand Honors

The last part of our article on Rio Ferdinand bio is about his honors and achievements. The former English defender won six Premier League titles, two Football League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, four FA Community Shield titles, and 2008 FIFA Club World Cup during his spell at Manchester United. He also won 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup with West Ham United.

His notable individual achievements are West Ham United Hammer of the Year (1997-98), PFA Premier League Team of the Year (six times), Premier League Player of the Month (October 2001), and English Football Hall of Fame (2016).

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