Les Ferdinand may have left the Premier League a decade ago but the talented striker did enough in his time to still be sitting comfortably as the 8th highest goalscorer in Premier League history.
The striker scored an impressive 149 goals in 351 Premier League appearances and featured in two League Cup finals during his time at Tottenham, while he was unlucky not to have won the Premier League during his time at Newcastle.
Les Ferdinand was born in London on the 8th of December 1966 and developed into a strong and skilful goalscorer during his time playing non-league football at Southall and Hayes. Ferdinand impressed enough to be snapped up by First Division side QPR in 1987.
He spent most of his early days at Loftus Road on loan to other clubs such as Brentford and Turkish side Besiktas. However, the striker returned to Loftus Road and was a first team regular by the time the Premier League era came around.
In his three seasons in the Premier League with QPR, Ferdinand scored 60 goals, which helped QPR finish 5th, 9th and 8th in the league. Ferdinand’s impact at QPR was evident when he left in 1995, as they dropped from the top half of the league and were eventually relegated.
Newcastle United snapped up Ferdinand for £6m and he was an instant hit in the north east as he scored a whopping 25 goals in 37 league appearances in the 1995/96 season as Newcastle fell just short of winning the Premier League.
Newcastle led at the top of the Premier League by a massive twelve points early on in the season but ran out of steam, which led to them being overtaken by Manchester United. Ferdinand continued to impress in the 1996/97 season as he netted 16 times in 31 league appearances as Newcastle finished second in the league again.
Tottenham swooped in for Ferdinand in July 1997 and signed the striker for £6m. Unfortunately, Ferdinand missed a huge part of the 1997/98 season due to injury but returned to score five crucial goals as himself and Jurgen Klinsmann helped Tottenham avoid a relegation battle.
Ferdinand enjoyed his first bit of silverware in the 1998/99 season as Tottenham lifted the League Cup thanks to a 90th minute Allan Nielsen goal in a 1-0 win over Leicester on the 21st of March 1999.
Meanwhile, Ferdinand only managed five goals again in the league as Tottenham finished an average 11th. This mediocrity continued in the 1999/00 season as Ferdinand only managed to feature in nine games and scored just twice as Tottenham finished 12th. They could only move up two places to 9th the following season.
Ferdinand wrote his name into the history books on the 15th December 2001 when he scored the 10,000th Premier League goal in a game against Fulham. Tottenham and Ferdinand were League Cup finalists again in 2002 but unfortunately they lost the final 2-1 to Blackburn. He only spent half of the 2002/03 season at White Hart Lane before deciding to part ways with the club.
Ferdinand signed for West Ham United in January 2003 and scored his first goal for the Hammers against his former club Tottenham. Although, the striker only managed to score two goals in 14 appearances as he couldn’t do anything to help prevent West Ham’s relegation.
Ferdinand’s lack of impact at West Ham led to many football fans believing that he was past his best but he revived his form when he signed for Leicester City. Ferdinand managed to score 14 goals for Leicester in the 2003/04 season, despite being 37 years of age but it still wasn’t enough to prevent Leicester from being relegated.
The striker moved on to Bolton in the 2004/05 season but only made one start for the club as the rest of his appearances were made as a substitute. Ferdinand’s experience was used all around the pitch during his time at Bolton as he even played in the centre back position on occasion for the club.
Ferdinand scored his last ever Premier League goal in a fixture against Manchester United and decided to play lower league football from then on.
He lined out for Reading and Watford before hanging up his boots. The legendary striker explained his decision to retire by stating,
“I know I can’t go on forever. How can I when my so called teammates keep asking me which king was on the throne when I started and what football was like in the dark ages.”
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena