My London: Rio Ferdinand

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I was born in Camberwell and grew up in Peckham. I remember being on the estate when I was around five years old, playing football against all the other kids. I used to like testing myself against the older kids.

Best meal you’ve had?

I love Roka — I’m a big fan of Japanese food. It’s a good environment for groups of friends.

Favourite shops?

I used to go to Dave’s barber shop in Peckham. The same fella has been there since I was a kid and he knows what to do with my hair. You can’t beat a Nike tracksuit. Now, as a pundit, I’ve got to look smart for TV. My suit has always got to be tailored. Suit Supply do a variety of suits that coordinate, such as grey trousers with a navy jacket. In the summer they change it up so I can look smart in the heat.

Last play you saw?

Beauty & The Beast. The kids loved it. It was good to see my little girl’s face light up with excitement.

Best place for a nightcap?

The Ned near Bank. There’s loads of choice within the venue to drink. I don’t normally go to the rooftop there but The Vault downstairs is a nice bar where I can relax.

Best place for a first date?

Nando’s. Cheap and cheerful. You can’t beat the medium spice chicken thighs with spicy rice and chips.

If you could buy any building which would it be?

The Shard. It’s close to my offices at New Era Global Sports and it’s always a bonus having a swimming pool on the top floor to look over London. It’s the best city in the world.

Ever had a run-in with a policeman?

No. I have full respect for policemen and women. I was told at a young age by my mum and dad to respect them.

Who is your hero?

John Barnes. He was my inspiration when I was a kid. I used to want to be him when playing on my estate. What a player! I saw him recently, actually, and I remember saying to my mate how much I looked up to him as a kid, and still do.

John Barnes (Colorsport/REX/Shutterstock)

If you had to be locked in a building overnight, which would it be?

The Bank of England, haha!

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

My close school friends, one of them being Gavin Rose, my brother Anton and former Chelsea player Jody Morris.

Favourite club?

Lockside in Camden. It’s a different environment to the West End — can’t beat a cold Heineken.

B​​iggest extravagance?

When I was younger it was probably cars. My favourite was the Aston Martin, the Vantage in navy blue.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Rio Ferdinand is a BT Sport ambassador and analyst.


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