Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has become the latest high-profile star to declare his backing for England’s hockey women, following their 2-1 victory over hosts Scotland in the Commonwealth Games.
According to the Daily Mail the recently-signed Queens Park Rangers man Tweeted congratulations to Susan Townsend and Co., revealing that he’s grown to be a fan of hockey. England will face New Zealand in the semi-finals this coming Friday, meaning they’re potential two more victories away from clinching a gold medal.
And, whilst Ferdinand may well be known for his endeavours in football, the ex-England international has given hockey a timely popularity boost before the women attempt the feat at the end of this week. Though not considered a mainstream sport the game continues to increase in terms of its notoriety, and hockey fans will no doubt be happy that an athlete of Ferdinand’s repute has taken to Twitter to laud it.
How it happened
Of course it wasn’t all plain sailing for England, and there were times during the match where Scotland looked as though they might prevail. Having started strongly the visitors took a lead after 17 minutes after a neat piece of play by Nicola White put Alex Danson in to score the opener.
It was then Townsend - who was the subject of one of Ferdinand’s tweets - who added the second when she bagged from a penalty corner. At 2-0 up and seemingly cruising fans would have been forgiven for assuming England were set to reach the last four, but Scotland came back strong in the second period, and Jason Lee’s ladies were forced to battle for their win.
The host nation’s Nikki Kidd pegged one back for Scotland, and they piled on the pressure late on in search of an equaliser. However it was to no avail, as England clung on to record another victory over the auld enemy. They now head into the semi-final looking to build on the bronze medals they won in 2010, but know they’re sure to face stern competition in the Kiwis.
As for Ferdinand, his attentions are surely being largely dominated with getting match-fit for the new season. The veteran defender secured his fairytale move to Loftus Road to finish his career under Harry Redknapp, and a budding partnership with Steven Caulker would no doubt help the R’s beat the drop.
QPR kick off their Premier League season against Hull City on August 16, and Ferdinand is now vying to have one last hurrah before hanging up his boots.