Rio Ferdinand recalls time fans stormed into his home with contract demand
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. [Reuters]

Rio Ferdinand has recalled Manchester United fans wearing “balaclavas and hoodies” turning up at his home to demand he sign a new contract back in 2005.

Ferdinand had joined the Red Devils from Leeds three years earlier for £30million – then a world-record fee for a defender.

The Englishman impressed during his first seasons at Old Trafford and club chiefs were keen to tie him down to a new deal.

But months of negotiations bore little fruit, prompting then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson to strip Ferdinand of the vice-captaincy. The centre-back was also booed by fans during pre-season fixtures.

Some supporters went further, however, and Ferdinand – who went on to sign a four-year contract extension – was even faced with an angry mob outside his home.

Recalling the event, Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel : “I was in my house one day and all of a sudden the bell rings.

And someone put their hand over, so I couldn’t see the actual camera, couldn’t see who was on it.

Rio Ferdinand recalls time fans stormed into his home with contract demand
Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand (R) is helped from the pitch by teammate Robin van Persie after being struck by an object thrown from the crowd during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England December 9, 2012. [REUTERS/Phil Noble]

“So I thought, ‘Who’s this cheeky rat? let me go outside and have a row – whatever it is – don’t take liberties coming to my house’.

“So I jumped on the wall next to my gate, looked over the gate and there’s about 10, 15 people there – guys with balaclavas and hoodies on, all ballied up.

“I’m thinking, ‘What, they’ve come to rob my house?’ And then, luckily, one of them shouted, ‘Just sign the contract!’

“So I got a bit of confidence thinking ‘They’re not going to rob my house, it’s just about the football’.

“I said, ‘What you coming to my house for? If I followed your missus home and sat outside your house and waited outside with all my mates, would you be happy? No you wouldn’t. Don’t come to my house – you don’t go to Becks’ [David Beckham’s] house or Roy Keane’s house, but you’re coming here? What’s wrong with you?’

“To be fair, I said to them, ‘At the end of the day, I’m gonna re-sign, I’m gonna stay. I don’t want to go nowhere else, but I’m negotiating – let me negotiate’.”


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