Rio Ferdinand spotted at youth football festival in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 13:14 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 08 May 2018

Rio Ferdinand was spotted at a youth football tournament in Bradwell. Photo: Gemma Bullen

Rio Ferdinand was spotted at a youth football tournament in Bradwell. Photo: Gemma Bullen


Football-crazed youngsters were starstruck when a Manchester United legend turned up at the youth tournament they were playing in and shouted support from the sidelines.

Jack Holmes and Tay Chapman with former Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand. Photo: Gemma Bullen.Jack Holmes and Tay Chapman with former Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand. Photo: Gemma Bullen.

Rio Ferdinand was spotted at the SCI Youth Football Tournament in Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth over the weekend. The former Manchester United centre-back was at the event to support his son who was playing in the tournament.

Gemma Bullen, whose son Jack Holmes was competing with Shrublands Juniors FC, said: “I’ve never been to a football festival that was so busy with parents. There was a really good buzz for the children and it helped give a boost to the local teams and local people.”

Ms Bullen, from Gorleston, praised the BT Sport pundit for the way he dealt with the attention. She said: “He was fantastic – his son was playing in the tournament so he was down to support him.

“He asked people to be respectful when his son was playing so he could focus on the game and encourage him. But when his son’s team were not playing he was taking photographs with everyone and signing autographs.”

File photoof  Rio Ferdinand.  Picture Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.File photoof Rio Ferdinand. Picture Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Ms Bullen’s son and nephew Tay Chapman were among those who met the defender.

She said: “He asked if they were enjoying themselves and who they supported. Tay supports West Ham and Jack supports Manchester United – Rio laughed and told them Manchester was the better team and joked with them before saying they were both good clubs to support.

“They were so awestruck and excitable afterwards.”

The former England international, who earned 81 caps, also took the opportunity to impart some of his wisdom.

Ms Bullen added: “He went round and spoke to the local teams – giving them advice and just general chit-chat. And when people began packing up he had a little kick about with the local children.”

While Ferdinand’s presence may have been the main 
talking point at the tournament it had the added benefit of encouraging more people to come down and support those playing.

She said: “It gave people extra incentive to come down and support the children. The number of people down there spoke for itself – the morale was absolutely amazing.”

Other News

A man in his 70s was punched in the face several times after he became involved in an argument as he reversed from a driveway in Great Yarmouth.

The owner of a hotel in Great Yarmouth has put his 41 bedroom landmark building up for sale to “test its valuation” following two years of substantial investment.

Few places nationwide voted more in favour of leaving the European Union than Great Yarmouth.


The sister of murder victim Hannah Witheridge has described as an “absolute atrocity” the actions of a tormenter troll who set up a “dark and unusual” fake profile in Hannah’s name

Most Read

Yesterday, 12:29

Police are appealing for help to trace a woman following a theft in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Tue, 13:10

The man who was killed in a fatal stabbing in Great Yarmouth has been named.

Read more
Norwich Magistrates Court
Yesterday, 14:51

Homes are going up on a pub’s garden as it looks for ways to thrive.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:20

Residents in Great Yarmouth will be able to enjoy having their favourite fast food orders delivered right to their doorstep thanks to a new delivery service.

Read more
Mon, 11:17

A man remains in hospital with serious injuries after his car crashed into a telephone pole and tree before landing in a ditch.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy