Newcastle United hero Les Ferdinand reveals his favourite goal and love for ‘phenomenal’ supporters
Ferdinand, who scored 50 goals in just 84 games for Newcastle, was back in the North East at South Shields for a special talk-in alongside Sunderland legend Niall Quinn and spoke about his time in the North East and his favourite memories of his spell at Newcastle United. Ferdinand said: “I had a fantastic time up here.
“The passion for football and in particular the club that I played for was phenomenal and I really enjoyed my time up here. The only problem was that it was a little bit too short.
“It [favourite memory] would probably be my first game playing for Newcastle and scoring on my debut. I did a best XI that I have played with in the Premier League and they asked what my favourite goal was.
“It probably wasn’t my best goal, but I chose my first goal for Newcastle. I always remember thinking when I scored it that if there was a roof on the place, they probably would have blown it off. That was probably my favourite memory of my time here.”
Ferdinand began his career in non-league with Southall and Hayes and Yeading before making the move to Queens Park Rangers in 1987. Born in London, Ferdinand had no ties to Newcastle when he made the move in 1995, however, he has since revealed his love for the area and the great impact the Newcastle United fans had on his career.
When asked about what makes the North East special, Ferdinand responded: “It’s the way the fans love the game. I was fortunate to play for Newcastle where it’s the only team in the town and on a matchday they descended on mass to the stadium.
“It’s perched on that little hill and you see everyone around you. I was fortunate as well that we had a very good team and I had a good time.
“We should have won the league, didn't quite do it, but we were there all season so that made the whole area and whole experience that much better.”
‘Sir Les’ now works as director of football back at QPR, helping with all aspects of the club as they navigate the notoriously tricky Championship division. It’s a role he has held since 2015 after a brief stint as head of football operations.
Day-to-day life for the 56-year-old is very different to when he was banging in goals week-in and week-out, but it’s a role that Ferdinand is relishing.
“It’s very different because as a player,” he said. “You are quite self-focussed because although you’re playing in a team, you’ve just got to make sure you’re right for the game whenever that may be. You don’t have to worry about what is going on at the club because other people take care of it.
“Now though I’m on the other side of the fence and I’m the one who has to worry about what is going on at the club in terms of budgets and things like that. It’s certainly very, very different and I have an appreciation of what the chairman and board members had to put up with years ago.”