Rice was part of Chelsea's academy until he was dumped without warning in 2013.
"It was a massive shock," he says. "I came home after school and thought I was odds-on to go full time and my dad said I was released. I just broke down because that was all I'd known since I was eight. I lived 10 minutes away in Kingston, it was training every Tuesday and Thursday, playing every Saturday.
"I'd gone through a massive growth spurt that year and was running like Bambi on ice, my body wasn't used to it. I don't know if that was the reason I got released because I never got told. They said I should come in for a meeting but then they cancelled it.
"Word gets round when players get released. I found out I was being released at half-past three and then I got a phone call of Dan Rice [Fulham scout, no relation] and at seven o'clock that evening I was training there. The next day, Dave Hunt from West Ham called my dad and after two sessions there they wanted to sign me.
"I had to deal with a lot at a young age. Being released, then having to move away at 14. When I got released, me and Mase [Mason Mount] always said we'd play together again, our families said it too. We just thought it would be at club level some day, not England."