Manchester United defender Rio Ferdiand has revealed that he was confronted by a gang of hooded fans outside his home during contract talks with the club eight years ago.
Ferdinand was in the middle of negotiating a new deal, but photographs taken of him with then Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon had caused furious speculation about his future.
The masked gang, calling themselves the ‘United Boys’, found Ferdinand and demanded that he sign a new deal with the Red Devils.
“So I go to the side door and grab a big bit of wood,” the 34-year-old told Four Four Two magazine.
“[I] jump on the side of the wall and I’m just about to scream ‘raaaah!’ when I see there’s a massive group of people, with hoodies and caps covering their faces.
“I just thought, ‘I’m going to get served up in a moment, so go bananas and they’ll think you’re a nutter!’
“Then one of them said, ‘We’re the United boys, sign your contract,’ and I was like, ‘What you talking about? I’ve only just started negotiating two months ago, what you worrying about?”‘
Ferdinand was forced to explain the background of his meeting with Kenyon to the band of hooded fans, and reassure them that he was committed to Manchester United.
“Basically I went to see my agent for half an hour and Kenyon was with him,’ he added.
“Someone’s taken a picture and made out like we’re having a meal together. So I’m saying to these guys, ‘If I’m going to do a deal with another club, do you think I’d be doing it in broad daylight?’
“One of the neighbours had called the police by then and they got off when they heard the sirens.”