Rio Ferdinand was drunk when he played for West Ham against Arsenal after downing three brandies

RIO Ferdinand was drunk playing for West Ham after downing three brandies.

The then 17-year-old was not in the squad for the game at Arsenal in 1996.

But he was found by the kit man in the Highbury lounge and told he was on the bench.

Rio, now 42, said: “I had a brandy and Coke in my hand. ‘Put it down’.

"I was like, ‘Rah, had three brandy and Cokes and about to play at Highbury’.”

Midfielder Paulo Futre had stormed off for not getting the No10 shirt.

Rio said: “I was on the bench thinking, ‘Please don’t let me come on, three brandy and Cokes, I can’t come on this pitch’. And then I came on.”

He replaced Slaven Bilic after 87 minutes in the 2-0 defeat.

He has previously said of his drinking days: “Elements of my career are a blur.”

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