Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand has said that after drinking three brandies and cokes, he played in the Premier League. Initially, during the 1996-97 season, Ferdinand was not one of the matchday squad for West Ham’s match against Arsenal but ended up being called onto the bench for the match as part of the traveling party. After Paulo Futre, who was signed by AC Milan, stormed out of the stadium after being told that he would not wear the No. 10 shirts against Arsenal, the defender, who was only 17 at the time, was drafted into the squad. And after having three drinks, Ferdinand explained how he had to psych himself up to play a Premier League match.
Former Man Utd defender Ferdinand told The Mo Gilligan Podcast, “I was at West Ham and I was in the squad and didn’t get changed, so I went up to the bar and had three brandies and cokes. Then the kit man came and said, ‘You’ve got to change yourself,’ because I was holding brandy and coke in my hand. That’s how I was, oh. I put it down, and I got three coke and brandy, and I gotta go play at Highbury. What’s happening here?
My first Highbury appearance; I was 17, 18, 18. So I went downstairs and asked myself,’ Are you all right? ‘-I was like,’ Yes, I’m all right,’ and I was right and I was buzzing!
First thing, when he left, Paulo Futre walked out because he wasn’t #10.10. Looking at the numbers, he saw that he wasn’t number 10, and he walked out. West Ham manager Harry Redknapp was like, ‘Next week, we’re going to sort it out, Paulo, we’re going to change it, we’re going to sort it out.’
Paulo just got into a cab and went back home. Before the ball was kicked, he left Highbury. So I was taken down to the team, and then I moved on. Please don’t put me on, I was on the bench wondering. Three coke and brandy, I can’t come over on this pitch. I can’t come on and make myself an example.
So for about 15 minutes, I went on.”