Old picture shows Gordon Ramsay once wanted to be a professional footballer
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A picture has emerged from the mists of time that shows a young Gordon Ramsay wearing a Rangers strip preparing to play a game for the Scottish club.
Now, many people might know that Ramsay is a big football fan, and some will even have seen him playing in charity games like Soccer Aid – although he didn’t turn out this year – but it’s more likely that you know him as a foul-mouthed TV chef and presenter.
However, you might not realise how close Ramsay came to making it big in the beautiful game, before he pivoted into a career in the kitchen instead.
To be fair, it’s been a successful move for him, and he’s no doubt got a longer and more lucrative career from this than he ever would have done at Ibrox.
That’s the stadium that has hosted Rangers' clubs over the decades, if you’re not familiar with fitbaw.
Born in Johnstone, Ramsay’s love affair with the original Rangers started out in his youth, when he would attend games with his uncle Roland.
When he was 10, the family moved away to the south, settling down in England instead.
As soon as he started kicking a ball, it became clear that he had a bit about him, and he was eventually picked up by Oxford United.
As fortune would have it, a Rangers scout picked up on Ramsay whilst watching a match, bringing the family back to Scotland just five years after leaving.
Explaining his style, Ramsay once told Observer Sport Monthly: “I did very well,
“I was a naturally aggressive left-back, a cut-throat tackler.You may have got past once but there was never, ever, ever a second occasion.
“And I was fast, I was a great 100m sprinter. If you were to compare me to anyone, I guess it could be Stuart Pearce.”
He continued: “My dad was a Rangers fan and fantastically proud of me. But it was hard and very stressful.
“Never knowing if you were going to make it. I was petrified most of the time,
“The games were really violent, not like the football we see nowadays.”
That was eventually proven to have been true, with Ramsay suffering a knee ligament injury that put paid to his career on the pitch.
The picture that has resurfaced shows Ramsay during a testimonial match in which he was listed as a trialist, one of a couple of appearances he made in the blue shirt.
Clarifying whether he ever actually turned out for the first team – as there was some speculation – a spokesperson said in 2009: “Gordon has always down-played his footballing past and been clear about the fact that he never made it to be a professional.
“As detailed in Gordon's autobiography, Humble Pie, Gordon was a promising schoolboy who was monitored by Rangers over a three-year period during his school holidays when he attended their Youth Policy.
“During this time he played a couple of non-league matches as a trialist. A knee injury put paid to any further hopes of being signed by Rangers.”
Still, not making it in football didn’t affect Ramsay that much.
He’s received three Michelin stars in his career as a chef, travelled the world and made numerous successful TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic.
Not bad for a back-up career, eh?