Rio Ferdinand Biography

Updated On Oct 23, 2017 Published On Oct 23, 2017
Facts of Rio Ferdinand
Date of Birth: 1978 , November-7
Birth Nation: United Kingdom
Height: 6 Feet 2 Inch
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Ferdinand was recognized as a footballing talent even as a child. As a young boy, he regularly featured in local youth teams as an attacking midfielder, finally making his way into the English Youth Team squad at the age of 16 and earning his first full English cap at 19 years old. He eventually went on to be capped 81 times and scored three goals for his country in international championships. His club career, which started from West Ham, took him to A-division clubs like Leeds and Manchester United before he finally retired from his professional football career in May 2015, as a team member of Queens Park Rangers. He transferred to Leeds United in 2000 for a record-breaking sum of £18million. Two years later, he broke the record again when he joined Manchester United for around £30 million. 

Ferdinand's girlfriend Rebecca Ellison gave birth to their first son in 2006. Elison and Ferdinand finally married in 2009 and, the couple had two more children. He unsuccessfully sued the Sunday Mirror in 2010 to prevent the publication of his alleged affair with Carly Storey. Ellison died of breast cancer in 2015. Ferdinand has co-authored a memoir of his wife's struggle with cancer in his memoir “Thinking Out Loud.” In early 2017 he started dating Kate Wright.

His long footballing career has made Ferdinand a wealthy person, with a net worth of $75million (£55.3million). Apart from working as a commentator, he runs the Rio Ferdinand Live the Dream Foundation, a result of his harsh experiences growing up in Peckham, which aims to nurture young people from deprived communities and help them gain a foothold in sports and entertainment industries.

Rio Ferdinand facts on timeline

Born in a Working Class Family

November 7 , 1978

Rio Ferdinand was born in Denmark Hill, London to a child carer mother and a tailor father. His mother is Irish, while his father is of Saint Lucian descent.

Ferdinand Enters English Youth Team Squad

1994

At 16, Ferdinand was offered a position to join the English youth team squad. He took the opportunity and competed at the UEFA European Football Championship in his age group. 

First Cap for England

November 15 , 1997

Ferdinand earned his first cap for England as a substitute in a friendly against Cameroon on 15 November 1997, at the age of 19, and became the youngest defender to play for England at the time.

Early on Record Breaking Transfers

2000

Ferdinand broke the transfer record when he joined Leeds United for the fee of £18million.Two years later, in 2002, he broke the record again when he was transferred to Manchester United for around £30 million.

Becomes a Father

2006

Ferdinand became a father when his girlfriend Rebecca Ellison gave birth to their first son in 2006. Elison and Ferdinand were finally married in 2009 and have two more children.

Death of a Loved One

2015

Rebecca Ellison died of breast cancer in 2015. Ferdinand has co-authored a memoir, “Thinking Out Loud”, of his wife's struggle with cancer and the subsequent grief of losing her. 

Reaching Out to the Less Fortunate Ones

2009

Ferdinand started the Rio Ferdinand Live the Dream Foundation in December 2009. The aim of the foundation is to nurture young people from deprived communities and help them gain a foothold in sports and entertainment industries.

Second Innings of a Sporting Star Second Innings

2015

Ferdinand finally retired from his professional football career in May 2015 as a team member of Queens Park Ranger. Subsequent to his retirement, he joined BT Sport as a football pundit.