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On this day: Les Ferdinand joins Tottenham Hotspur

Sixteen years ago today, Tottenham Hotspur completed the signing of Les Ferdinand from Newcastle United.

It's not too often that a professional footballer is given the opportunity to play for the club that he supported as a boy.

However, on this day back in 1997, that chance was presented to Les Ferdinand, who had been informed by Newcastle United that they must sell him due to financial problems even though he had scored 41 goals in 68 appearances for the Magpies.

Both Everton and Sheffield Wednesday were keen on his services, but being a Tottenham Hotspur fan, it was their interest that attracted him to White Hart Lane in a £6m deal.

Les Ferdinand is unveiled as a Tottenham Hotspur player.© PA Photos

The England international would go on to spend six seasons with the North Londoners, although he did not score the number of goals that most people and perhaps even himself had expected.

During his first season with the club, he struggled with injury and the manager who had signed him, Gerry Francis, resigned in November. It meant that Spurs, who had the likes of Ferdinand, Jurgen Klinsmann and David Ginola in their squad, avoided relegation by just four points.

His best Premier League return came during the 2000-01 campaign when he found the net on 10 occasions, while a year later he scored 15 times in all competitions.

Les Ferdinand holds off a challenge from his nephew Rio Ferdinand.© PA Photos

Perhaps his best moment for the club came in 1999 when he featured in the final as Spurs won the League Cup 1-0 at Wembley at the expense of Leicester City. He was also part of the Tottenham starting lineup three years later as Blackburn Rovers won 2-1 in Cardiff to lift the trophy.

It was during his spell with Spurs that Ferdinand also created English football history, when in December 2001 his goal against Fulham was the 10,000th to be scored in the Premier League.

He switched to West Ham United in 2003, scoring his first goal for the Hammers against Tottenham. Stints with Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers, Reading and Watford followed, before he called time on his career in 2006. Ferdinand is now on Andre Villas-Boas's coaching staff at Spurs.

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