Academy awe for Anton

Anton Ferdinand has revealed he is not surprised at all that Tony Carr continues to churn out homegrown Hammers from the Academy.

The Sunderland defender is one of the most high-profile graduates in recent seasons and was delighted to return to the Boleyn Ground for his mentor's recent testimonial. Ferdinand has kept in touch with Carr and said West Ham United fans can look forward to many more starlets coming through.

"He is still bringing players through today. There are a few in the first team here again at West Ham. A lot of those players are below the age of 23 and even more are coming through from the Academy. The fact that this is still happening here doesn't surprise me.

"Tony has not only made this club money, but brought through talent for the country, for England. A lot of the credit goes to not only Tony but the people in the Academy around him as well. It just goes to show the respect and the love the players have for him, to come back and be at his game."


Ferdinand was thrilled to wear a West Ham shirt again and was more than nostalgic about the experience. "Just coming back and walking into the home dressing room again was so good and brought back great memories for me. These are memories I will treasure forever."

In particular, he will treasure the chance to play alongside big brother Rio, with the defensive duo finally realising a lifelong dream.

"It was the first time I have played alongside him. There was not so much banter, but a lot of talking out there between us. Like we would in a game, it would be even greater if it was a proper competitive match, but it was the next best thing. It was good to play with him and our family was very proud.

"It was nice to play for the fans. I got a good reception when I have come back here with Sunderland so I was hoping that it would be the same again for me wearing the claret and blue again. It was and I was very happy at that."