Ferdinands ready for Testimonial

Anton Ferdinand has never had the chance to line up alongside big brother Rio in a claret and blue shirt - until now.

The England defender, 31, left West Ham United a little less than three years before his younger sibling made his debut at Preston North End in August 2003. Anton, 25, followed his brother up the A1 in the summer of 2008, when he joined Sunderland.

On Wednesday 5 May, the graduates hope to join forces in the All-Star team put together by Academy Director Tony Carr for his eagerly-awaited Testimonial match against a West Ham squad.


"It would be the first time we'd have played together in a match," said Anton. "That's something I'm sure the West Ham fans would love to see and something that my family would love to see.

"Our manager [Steve Bruce] has OK'd it and hopefully I'll be able to play some part in the game. Tony deserves it with the amount of stuff he's done for this club. The number of players who have come through says it all. If it wasn't for him, some of the best players who have come through into the England team wouldn't be doing what they're doing.

"If you're not comfortable on the ball then you're not a West Ham player - it's as simple as that. You have to have confidence on the ball and I try to show that myself.

"I grew up in the club and there are a lot of people here who have a lot of love for me, and I have a lot of love for them. It was nice to be back and see them last Saturday [when Sunderland lost 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground]."

The brothers will be among a star-studded cast of players to pull on the claret and blue shirt Carr has had specially-designed for the match. Sponsored by Ricoh, the kits have been manufactured by Umbro and will be auctioned off following the big night.

Carr has received agreement in principle for a host of international stars to take part, including Rio's Manchester United team-mate Michael Carrick and Anton's Sunderland sidekick Kieran Richardson.

Chelsea trio Frank Lampard, John Terry and Joe Cole all plan to be involved, alongside the likes of Nottingham Forest's Chris Cohen, Coventry City's Freddy Eastwood and Derby County goalkeeper Stephen Bywater.

Tickets for the Testimonial start at £15 for adults and £10 for Over-65s and Under-16s. Executive boxes are also available priced at £750 for ten people.