LES FERDINAND is a man who needs no introduction to QPR fans, young and old.
Those of a certain vintage will remember only too fondly the goals ‘Sir Les’ scored for the club in the top flight, while the younger generation will have heard many a story about our famous Number 9.
Before Ferdinand wrote his name into the folklore of QPR, he began his career playing non-league football with Hayes.
In March 1987, aged 20, the powerful and rapid front man completed a move to Loftus Road for a reported £15,000.
In his early days in W12, Ferdinand struggled to adapt to life in England’s top division and spent time on loan with Besiktas (twice) and Brentford. Despite an impressive season with the Turkish side, Ferdinand still found first-team opportunities difficult to come by at QPR and looked set to be leaving the club before Gerry Francis arrived as manager in the summer of 1991.
In the Premier League’s inaugural season, Ferdinand hit 20 league goals to help Rangers finish fifth. He followed that up with another 40 league goals in the next two seasons before he joined Newcastle for £6million – a 40,000% mark-up on his arrival fee!
In all, Ferdinand scored 90 goals in 183 appearances in all competitions for QPR before his move to St James’ Park in the summer of 1995.
An impressive 50 goals in just two seasons with Newcastle led Tottenham to pay another £6million for his services, and he would spend the next seven years with the north London side.
Injuries limited his playing time during this period, but he still racked up another 33 goals in all competitions.
Ferdinand enjoyed spells with West Ham, Leicester, Bolton and Reading before retiring in 2006.
He is part of an elite club of players to score more than 100 Premier League goals. Currently, he is the eighth highest scorer in the competition’s history, with 149 goals.
Internationally, Ferdinand represented England on 17 occasions, scoring five goals.
After hanging up his playing boots, Ferdinand spent six years on the coaching staff at Spurs before leaving the club in the summer.