He earned his first senior international cap in a match against Cameroon in 1997, setting a record as the youngest defender to play for England at the time.His achievements and footballing potential attracted Leeds United and he transferred to the club for a record-breaking fee of £18 million.
The Football Association (FA) Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Barry Bright, imposed an eight-month ban from January 2004 at club and international level and a £50,000 fine, meaning he would miss the rest of the season and some of the next along with all of Euro 2004.
Manchester United appealed against the verdict and sought to draw parallels to the case of Manchester City player Christian Negouai, who was fined £2,000 for missing a test.
His parents never married and they separated when he was 14 years old.
His father remained close, moving to a nearby estate, and took the kids to football training and to local parks. I enjoyed it." Ferdinand was regularly playing in youth teams and at Eltham Town he played as an attacking midfielder but team scouts saw the young player had the physical potential to be a centre back instead.
This included agents' fees, with Leeds receiving just under £30 million.
Ferdinand went on to win the Premier League title with Manchester United in his first season at the club.
Ferdinand began his football career playing for various youth teams, finally settling at West Ham United where he progressed through the youth ranks and made his professional Premier League debut in 1996.
He became a fan favourite, winning the Hammer of the Year award the following season.
Ferdinand had left after training to go shopping, only to remember and attempt to return, only to be told it was too late.