Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand has been reacting after former West Ham United teammate Joe Cole retired from football.

Cole famously started his career with West Ham amid much hype.

The ‘conjurer’ as he was dubbed by then Hammers teammate Ian Wright went on to make 187 appearances for West Ham over two spells, scoring 18 goals.

Cole was adored by West Ham fans for choosing them as a youngster when he was one of the most coveted players around.

Despite joining bitter rivals Chelsea – and celebrating wildly on scoring against West Ham at Stamford Bridge – the midfield magician restored his popularity when he returned for a second spell under Sam Allardyce.

Photo by Ian Walton Getty Images

‘Not seen many like him’

The football world has been reacting to Cole’s retirement at 37, which he announced via a statement published on West Ham’s official website.

And Cole’s former West Ham and England teammate Rio Ferdinand sent his best wishes on Twitter.

Rio shared a picture from their West Ham days and told a brilliant little story from their first training session.


“Not seen many kids light up youth football like this guy,” Ferdinand said on Twitter.

Photo by Mike Hewitt Getty Images

‘Best player by a mile’

“He came and trained with the West Ham United first team at about 14, we played a two-touch match and (he) was the best player by a mile!

“Loves the game and a lovely guy too. Welcome to retirement Coley!”

Ferdinand has it right.

Hammers fans have fond memories of Cole orchestrating a 9-0 aggregate win over Coventry in the FA Youth Cup final.

Photo by Phil Cole Allsport

Cole was poster boy of an exciting West Ham era unfulfilled

It marked an exciting time for the club as they ushered in a golden generation of talent.

West Ham mismanaged that era and slowly but surely lost all their talent.

Supporters will be hoping the likes of Grady Diangana and Declan Rice will stick around and help the club achieve success in the new era.