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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
'Sir' Les to arise with an MBE
Former Newcastle, Spurs and QPR striker Les Ferdinand
For somebody who revels in the title of "Sir" Les Ferdinand, a moniker given him by QPR fans, an MBE may seem like a consolation prize.

But supporters of QPR, Newcastle and Spurs will consider it just reward for a striker who graced his goals with an air of nobility.

In a career that began at Hayes and kicked around West London before taking in spells at Besiktas, Newcastle, Tottenham, Leicester, Bolton and Reading, Ferdinand scored goals in his own inimitable style, making him one of only three players to score hat-tricks with three different Premiership clubs.

Like fellow Hayes graduate Cyrille Regis, his game was based on pace and power, with a trademark leap that somehow made him look bigger than his 5ft 11in frame.

But the athletic Londoner, born in Acton on 18 December, 1966, also possessed a good touch for such a muscular man.

Ferdinand joined Rangers from non-league outfit Hayes for 15,000 in March 1987.

But after making just three appearances in his first two seasons with the Hoops, it was arguably an unlikely loan move to Besiktas, engineered by Trevor Francis, that was the making of him.

FERDINAND FACTFILE
QPR: 152 lge apps, 80 goals
Brentford: 3 apps, 0 goals
Besiktas: 24 apps, 14 goals
Newcastle: 67 apps, 41 goals
Spurs: 97 apps, 33 goals
West Ham: 12 apps, 2 goals
Leicester: 20 apps, 12 goals
Bolton: 12 apps, 1 goal
Reading: 12 apps, 1 goal

Ferdinand's goals helped the Istanbul giants win the Turkish Cup in 1989, the striker eventually finishing with 21 from just 32 games.

Besiktas naturally wanted to sign the Englishman permanently, but he ended up returning to Loftus Road after the clubs failed to agree a fee.

However, it was only after Francis was sacked, to be replaced by Don Howe, that Ferdinand made his mark in the English game.

His haul of 90 goals in 183 league games over five seasons earned him cult status with Rangers, an England call-up and eventually the 6m attentions of Newcastle.

Ferdinand revelled in the roller-coaster ride that was life at Newcastle under Kevin Keegan.

In the best form of his life, he almost spearheaded Newcastle to the Premiership title in that memorable 1995-96 season.

But at least he landed the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award while at St James' Park.

After 50 goals in 84 league games for the Magpies, Tottenham had no hesitation in shelling out another 6m for the self-confessed Spurs fan.

But niggling injuries ate into his form at White Hart Lane and, after just over five years in North London, Ferdinand joined West Ham, where he failed to find the goals to keep the Hammers in the Premiership.

Former England striker Les Ferdinand
Ferdinand made his name at QPR

A season at Leicester suggested to Bolton boss Sam Allardyce that Ferdinand still had Premiership goals in him.

But after joining the Trotters last summer, he made just one start - and scored one goal - before joining Reading.

Had Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham not been an item when Ferdinand was in his pomp, he surely would have added to his 17 England caps and five goals.

He has made no announcement as to his future in the game, but he has one out of it - as a fully-qualified helicopter pilot.

He said of his award: "I'm very honoured but it hasn't really sunk in. I suppose it won't until it all happens and I collect my award."

"When I look back to the days when I was playing local semi-professional football for Hayes, it seems a million miles away.

"I thought that was the highest level I could play at.

"I never envisaged I would make it into the professional ranks and do what I've actually done."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC football correspondent Jonathan Legard on Les Ferdinand



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