by Mark Guthrie
18 March 2009
Central to England
Central School of Ballet
Rio Ferdinand (1978-), Footballer
England football captain, Rio Ferdinand plays centre-back for Manchester United Football Club and the England National team and is regarded as one of the finest defenders in world football. Born in Peckham, South London, his sporting career started at the age of ten when he was invited to the Queens Park Rangers Football Academy. However, when he was eleven years old he also won a scholarship to the Central School of Ballet in London. He travelled by bus from his home to central London to attend classes four times a week for four years. The dance lessons improved his natural balance but eventually he chose a career as a footballer and signed his first professional contract in 1995. In 2008 Ferdinand set up the Live The Dream Foundation to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with training and employment opportunities within the sports, arts and cultural sectors.
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