Leslie Ferdinand MBE (born December 18, 1966 in Paddington, London) is an English footballer who currently plays for Watford. He is best known for his time at Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United during the 1990s, during which period his powerful and elegant centre forward play and ability in the air resulted in a number of appearances for England. He is the cousin of current Premiership players Rio and Anton Ferdinand and is popularly nicknamed Sir Les. His son, Aaron currently plays for Harrow Borough in the Isthmian League.
Ferdinand started his career in non-league football, first at Southall and then moving to Hayes. He was spotted by Queens Park Rangers and moved there for £30,000. Ferdinand had two loan spells at Brentford and Beşiktaş (in Turkey). He became first choice at QPR in 1991 and made his England debut in 1994. He had a great career with Rangers, scoring 90 goals in 183 games, earning him the nickname 'Sir Les'. Much to the fans' disappointment - although not surprise, he had actually been expected to leave the club at the end of the '93-'94 season - Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle in 1995 for £6 million, with Hayes receiving £600,000 of this (a huge sum for a non-league side) due to a sell-on clause agreed following his major move to QPR.
He scored 29 goals in his first season with them, and got them within touching distance of the Premiership title. Meanwhile, his absence precipitated Queens Park Rangers' relegation in the 95/96 season. His time at Newcastle made him one of the best strikers in the country at the time, and his strike partnership with Alan Shearer (for club and country) was one of the deadliest. He scored 50 goals in only 84 games at the club. Ferdinand was and indeed is still very highly thought of by Newcastle United and its fans, he received a standing ovation when he came on as a substitute at Alan Shearer's testimonial and subsequently scored.
Spurs and later career
In 1997 Ferdinand was bought by Spurs, again for £6 million. In the 2002/2003 season he moved to West Ham, but the club was relegated at the end of the season. Ferdinand joined Leicester on a free transfer at the beginning of the 2003/2004 season. After the Foxes were relegated at the end of that season he joined Bolton Wanderers, but left them on January 2, 2005. Four days later, Ferdinand signed with Reading. His contract at the club lasted until the end of the 2004/2005 season.
Ferdinand committed to non-contract terms with FA Premier League side Watford as both part-time player and coach.
For England, Ferdinand was capped 17 times, scoring five goals. He was part of the Euro 96 and 1998 FIFA World Cup squads. Even with Ferdinand having a very successful season with Newcastle only being within inches of winning the leauge title in the 1995/6 season, Ferdinand strangly didn't get any action in Euro 96.
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