Cole and Ferdinand used to be team-mates in a Hammers squad that also spawned Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe.
All five went on to enjoy success elsewhere, whilst West Ham twice lost their top-flight status in 2003 and 2011.
Now Cole is looking to rebuild himself though, accepting the chance to re-sign for West Ham on a free transfer to escape the difficulties he was experiencing at Liverpool.
And though there will be no sentiment on show at Old Trafford tomorrow evening when Manchester United look to dump West Ham out of the FA Cup, Ferdinand is hopeful Cole will prove to be an inspirational signing.
"The era we had there will be part of West Ham's history forever now, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs," said Ferdinand.
"It is unfortunate for West Ham those players did not stay there and their presence get built upon.
"That is all history now I suppose. But Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months.
"It would be good to see him do something positive, but not this week. We want to get through this round."