Les Ferdinand picks Newcastle United match as one of those that changed his life

    What a player Les Ferdinand was.

    Only two seasons at St James’ Park and Sir Les helping Newcastle United to the runners-up spot both campaigns in the Premier League.

    In  1995/96 leading the line with Peter Beardsley behind him, then 1996/97 a twin striker role alongside Alan Shearer. Great days.

    Now Les Ferdinand has been asked by Four Four Two to select ‘games that changed his life’ during a great playing career.

    No surprises one of the games the former NUFC striker picked out…

    Newcastle United 5 Man Utd 0 – October 20, 1996, Premier League

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    “At one stage of the 1995/96 season, Newcastle had been 12 points clear of Manchester United in January [having played a game more].

    “Man United famously closed that gap and went on to win the league by four points, then absolutely humiliated us 4-0 in the Charity Shield that summer.

    “I always remember Kevin Keegan’s team talk shortly before the home match with them the following season.

    “He said, ‘You owe all of these fans’, after they had clapped us off at Wembley when we really didn’t deserve it.

    “Every player was so determined to win that afternoon, and what a performance it was – I headed the third goal from Alan Shearer’s cross.

    “Whenever I speak to Newcastle supporters, that’s the game they bring up.”

    The other three that Les Ferdinand picked out for Four Four Two were:

    England 6 San Marino 0 – February 17, 1993, World Cup qualifier

    Fenerbahce 0 Besiktas 1 – June 21, 1989, Turkish Cup Final

    Coventry 4 QPR 1 – April 20, 1987, First Division

    I must admit, I always thought a pivotal game when it came to Newcastle United and Les Ferdinand was on 16 October 1993.

    That day at St James’ Park, Les Ferdinand absolutely tore Newcastle apart, QPR winning 2-1 and Sir Les scoring their first goal. I think almost certainly this was the match that first really triggered interest in the forward from Kevin Keegan.

    Then on 4 February 1995, QPR beat Newcastle 3-0 at Loftus Road and Les Ferdinand once again took NUFC apart, scoring twice in the first seven minutes.

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