Ballet, Footie & Blue Coats
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Ballet, Footie & Blue Coats

It was at this school that Rio mixed Ballet with Football


Rio Gavin Ferdinand (born 7 November 1978), the English footballer who currently plays at centre-back for Manchester United in the Premier League (March 2009), has already achieved 70 caps at international level for the England national football team.

Known for his physical presence, Ferdinand began his football career playing for various youth teams, finally settling at West Ham United where he progressed through the youth ranks and made his professional Premier League debut in 1996.

But where did it all start... at Blue Coats of course - 'Blackheath Blue Coats High School' to be exact. Ferdinand enjoyed physical expression, taking part in not just football and gymnastics classes but drama, theatre and ballet too.

And at age ten he was invited to train at the Queens Park Rangers F.C. academy and then at age eleven he won a scholarship to attend the Central School of Ballet in London. However, while the lessons surely improved his balance, it was professional football that he truly desired.

And so it has flourished from there - some would say that Ballet tendencies come through on the pitch, and of course some wouldn't - but the boys done well whatever side of the park you stand.

Location: Old Dover Road, Blackheath, SE3 8SY