His Name is Rio…

rio1When I was doing the paper review on the BBC last night I was somewhat dismissive of The Observer’s rather odd decision to appoint Rio Ferdinand as the guest editor of their Sport Monthly magazine.I almost roared with laughter at the front page advert for his interview with Prime Minister Gordon Brown – you know, the man whose 100% attention is on getting us out of the economic crisis and who doesn’t do celebrity. Yep, that one. When Rio was at West Ham, he was a brilliant, talented defender, yet had a bit of a reputation for not being the sharpest knife in the drawer.

So when I opened the Sport Monthly magazine and read the first sentence of Rio’s editorial my heart sank…

When I was a kid growing up in Peckham, me and my friends (sic) used to sit up till mad hours talking about what’s we’d like to do in the future.

Clearly the Sport Monthly doesn’t employ a sub editor. However, somewhat to my surprise, the rest of the publication is rather good, and his interview with the PM is excellent. [Read it HERE]. Its the kind of verbatim conversational interview I do in Total Politics, and I have to say that he carries it off well, with just the right mix of conversational banter and intelligent questioning. Gordon Brown clearly knows his football, it has to be said. He even says something nice about West Ham just to prove it (!) …

GB: You must be enjoying your football now? Sir Alex is great.

RF: Yeah, I’m enjoying it now. When I started at West Ham …

GB: There were some great players there.

RF: Di Canio… Lampard was there. I never wanted to leave and at the start it was really good … but since I’ve been at Man United it’s been a dream, really.

Read that again. Rio never wanted to leave. I suppose we knew it at the time, but its nice of him to say it again. I’ve always thought he So I take it back. The Observer knew exactly what they were doing by getting Rio to guest edit. They must have, as they got me to read their magazine for the first time ever!


24 Responses to His Name is Rio…

  1. D&G says:

    We know he didn’t want to leave because arry walked out after he was sold.

  2. royski says:

    Harry sold him, and there was plenty of money exhanged between Harry, Pini Zhavi, Peter Storrie and Peter Risdale once that deal went through don’t worry about that, and Harry never walked lets remember that.

  3. redkipper says:

    D&G I think you’ve got your timing wrong with this one with W E.
    At the time I recall Wonkey Eye stated the club could not refuse such a high transfer bid. It’s also rumoured that W E picked up over £300,000 for his part in the deal. W E also bought some real 2nd class players to cover Rio both of whom were useless.

    W E left much later than Rio going; in fact it was me who walked out of WH as I’d been a real fan of Rio from the first time I saw him play aginst the crazy gang. Took me a long time to get over it!!

  4. Goatygav says:

    Essentially a decent bloke with his heart in the right place.

    I remember reading of a young lady who had been getting some abuse on a tube train when Rio stepped in an politely asked the guy to stop. Although she subsequently sold her story I think it said a lot about Rio’s character.

    He’s always very respectful and, while he’s no mental giant, you rarely hear of him hell-raising in any of the Red Top Tabloids.

  5. Graybo says:

    That cover shot of Rio reminds me of a match I went to when the North Bank were booing Peter Grotier in goal. The kid standing next to me asked his dad why they were booing the goalkeeper.

    His dad said something like: ‘I think it’s because he’s so ugly.’

    I wasn’t convinced (I think Grotier was going through a bit of a dodgy spell), but it was so funny, because every time Grotier touched the ball and was booed the dad made some further comment in very authoratitive manner. e.g. boooo (‘Yes, it’s because he’s ugly’) boooooooo (‘He is ugly, though, isn’t he’) boooooooo (It’s definitely because he’s ugly’) boooooooooooooo (‘He must be the ugliest footballer I’ve ever seen’)

    Sorry to go away from the OP about politics but that close-up of Rio doesn’t do Rio any favours (yes, I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that).

  6. Goatygav says:

    I also vouched for him when I managed to get through to Ray Houghton’s phone in on talk sport just after his ban. Although my main point was to show the earlier interviewee, John Virgo, up for being a hypocrite I made the point that he most probably missed the test through absent mindedness.

  7. Graybo says:

    p.s. I am very ugly and some of my best friends are ugly, too. ;o

  8. Goatygav says:

    Eye of the beholder Graybo. One man’s Kirsty Gallagher is another’s Dermot Gallagher.

  9. chris says:

    east london is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. devo says:

    beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder

  11. Graybo says:

    I feel guilty now, because instead of debating the finer points of the intercourse between the learned gentlemen, Messrs Brown and Ferdinand, GrotierGate has taken us way off beam. I’ll shut up now, with apologies!

  12. D&G says:

    Hmmm I seem to remember him leaving all because of the Rio deal.

  13. BrisIron says:

    I seem to remember Harry stating “why should we sell Rio to Leeds”, couple of weeks later Rio was sold for 18 mill and Harry saying it was a good deal for the club cos the of stories that the transfer system was changing and big deals were going to be a thing of the past.Couple of years later Rio goes to the mancs for 30 mill.

    If Rio did not want to go, it just shows how much respect Brown, arry and co had for the fans. Where did the 18 mil go? Not on big name players.

  14. getoutofthat says:

    The hilarious bit is that the weekly Observer sports supplement has a regular feature called ‘Said and Done’ which is a satirical report on players excesses, hypocritical declarations of loyalty to clubs and general nonsense…
    Most weeks they have some Rio-related stuff (missed drugs test, wage demands, branding opportunities etc)
    One of their favourites is to mention Rio doing something related to the prevention of youth crime and then quote an interview where he likes violent computer games, show a photo of Man U players holding ceremonial weapons on an overseas tour or mention that he’s producing a gangster film with Ashley Cole starring 50 Cent.
    Rio’s mag has a nice big feature on said movie but focuses on the opportunities it offers underprivileged teenagers to get work experience on a movie set…
    Worth seeing how long it takes for them to make some point about Rio using this example again?

  15. Roymondo says:

    I seem to remember that, when Rio went, the club said that they couldn’t turn down that amount of money (which was huge in those days) and that it then meant that the money was in place to develop the ground – including the East Stand – without the need to borrow from the banks. So we developed the West Stand through borrowing and never did the East Stand. Thanks Terry Brown.
    Also, Rio said when he left that he could see himself coming back to West Ham later in his career. He has never done a Lampard and rubbished the club which is why he always gets a good welcome when he comes back.

  16. Nick says:

    Rio wanted to go…..just not to Leeds……….

  17. WHU Kim says:

    Redknapp didn’t leave he was sacked and him pocketing £300,000 from the club over the Rio transfer played quite a part in it. Brown stated the above at a shareholders meeting and it’s well documented. Anyone who thinks Redknapp walked out “on principle” over the Rio transfer is way off the mark. Redknapp stayed long enough to waste the Rio money on a raft of second rate players on huge wages. I believe the same agent was used for most of the deals as well.

  18. Doc H Ball says:

    Quite so Kim. My understanding is that Arry got 300k if he didn’t spend the 18m for Rio on transfers. He didn’t, but then fell out with Brown after Song and Tit Camara were signed on silly wages/agents fees.

    The last chapter of Arry’s biography, which came out around that time, shows he was already planning to move on.

    Anyway, despite being at Spuds now, I still repect him for the many good things he did here.

    I still miss Rio. Like Cole, I don’t think he would have gone anywhere if it hadn’t been for the club cashing in. I suspect and hope we may see one of them back one day.In the meantime I genuinely wish them success.

  19. James says:

    Yes I respect the Arry of old and for the good times we had under his leadership, but now!! No chance!!

    If he takes the spuds down then I will certainly respect him more.

    As for Rio, I always knew he liked West Ham, If there was a chance we could have him back I would be more than happy to take him, But would he get into our defence at the moment, Absolutely no chance.

  20. duncan green says:

    The Rio transfer was allegedly entirely initiated by HR ( the chairman didnt want it to happen).The proceeds were spent on a number of players whose agent was allegedly none other than a next of kin relative of same former manager of WHUAFC.
    This is all documented and more (including the Derby C transfers which led ultimately to the departure of the mgr and subsequent partnership bewteen HR and Jim Smith )in a book by well known journo who was never sued for the allegations.
    Thought for the day …of all the coaches in the world to coach a ‘massive premier club ‘ how far do you go down the list of possibles for Spurs til you get to Kevin Bond ? Can it be his marvellous record at Bournemouth ?, Portsmouth ? or perhaps something else not at all linked to the corruption probe for which he was arrested and HR the victim of a house search but not charged. Ummm …No that would be out of character!!!

  21. Daveip1966 says:

    Duncan, I seem to recall the opposite, with ‘Arry effing and blinding about Rio being sold without his consent. I also remember a mate saying (he’d found out through church gossip) that Rio was only consenting to the deal because he was gutted that Brown had accepted the offer without even talking to him. Also, wasn’t ‘Arry sacked?

  22. WESTHAMWAYNE says:

    Harry wasted the money he got for Rio !! he bought two players from Liverpool that was absoluetly pony !! Titi Camara And Rigamortis Song for a start.

  23. oz ex chicken runner says:

    Sold a rolls royce and bought two VW beetles!Even arfur daley could have done better!

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