Rio Ferdinand Reveals How His Biggest Fear Drove Him From Peckham To The Premier League

'...the floor above me was almost like a drug den.'

Dressed in jet black, Rio Ferdinand wears his tailored suits like he wears his success - with pride and a quiet confidence that comes with knowing where it came from.

The former centre-back is joined by his childhood friend Gavin Rose, who also grew up in Peckham, for an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post UK.

As part of HuffPost UK’s Building Modern Men series, which aims to raise awareness around male suicide, we’ve been featuring a series of video-lead interviews focusing on male friendship and the role it plays in helping men talk about their mental health.

“Disappointments were something I kind of took hard in terms of either results, not winning a championship or a trophy and my friends became a release from that,” Ferdinand says.

Experts believe a recent masculinity audit, carried out by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and HuffPost UK, shows how men lack the “language” to talk about their mental health.

As the Peckham “lads” walk down memory lane together, Rose, the manager of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, asks: “Do you remember anything specific that was a tough challenge for you?”

Without hesitation Ferdinand says: “There were alcoholics on the estate, there were druggies on the estate, the floor above me was almost like a drug den.”

While reliving his childhood, the former England captain reveals what his “biggest fear” was and how it drove him from Peckham’s estates to the Premier League’s fields.

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