“A great day in my life” was how Rio Ferdinand described the moment 11 years ago today when he became a Manchester United footballer.
The Peckham-born defender became the most expensive British player ever when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sanction the £30million bid that took him to Old Trafford.
Ferdinand had already impressed while coming through under Harry Redknapp at West Ham United – his performances prompting the then big spending Leeds United to pay the Hammers £18million for his signature.
That was a British record too and Ferdinand had also become the world’s most expensive defender – his time at Leeds would not last long.
Playing alongside Sol Campbell at the heart of the England defence at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea was a turning point for Ferdinand.
Some exceptional performances in that tournament culminated in his Manchester United switch and he never looked back.
Six Premier League titles, two League Cups, a Champions League winners medal and a Club World Cup triumph say it all – Ferdinand is one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the best English defenders ever.
As is tradition, Ferdinand’s long service led to him being granted a testimonial by Manchester United, which takes place at Old Trafford on Friday, August 9 at Old Trafford.
Tickets are still available for the game against Spanish club Sevilla and can be purchased through the official Manchester United website by clicking here.