Ferdie, born in England in 1871, played for Blackheath and the Barbarians before emigrating to South Africa. For a time he was in the Border area, then Kimberley and eventually settled in Johannesburg where he played for Wanderers.
He was brother to the famous British centre of 1891, Randolph Aston, and was every bit as brilliant: a tall fellow, long in the leg, he had a natural swerve and sidestep. He probably made far more tries then he scored himself, being a born leader and a team man.
As a captain he was a great success: in those days the union where the test took place appointed the captain; it says much for his ability and popularity that he was appointed three times as captain.
His brother, Randolph, eventually became a schoolmaster but whatever happened in Ferdie's later life is a mystery. When his rugby career ended he seemed to disappear completely which is a shame - men like Aston should not be forgotten.