Redknapp took over as manager at Upton Park not long after and he handed Ferdinand his first-team debut in May 1996, bringing the centre half on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season.
"Any player will tell you, if a manager gives you your first chance in football, they will always hold a place in your heart," Ferdinand said.
"Harry was always supporting me, singing my praises, telling me off when I needed to be told off."
Ferdinand continued: "We've stayed in contact ever since. We would sometimes go six months without speaking but when I've seen him it's like it was back in the day.
"There has always been a connection. He has not changed much, he has not even got any grey hairs."
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