Gordon Ramsay has admitted he was so jealous of his former Rangers team-mates becoming top footballers that he left the country.
The celebrity chef was given a trial at the Ibrox club as a teenager but never made the grade in the professional game.
Ramsay, who was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, insisted injury was to blame and said he devised a plan to escape the hurt of his failed football ambitions by quitting the UK.
He told how he moved to Paris because he couldn’t stand seeing pals like Ally McCoist and Derek Ferguson become first team regulars at Rangers and break into the Scotland international team.
The 53-year-old, who damaged his knee cartilage while showing promise as a footballer, said he went to France as soon as he could after completing his training as a chef in London.
He said: “The doctor said ‘this will naturally recover but forget playing football for a year’.
“In those days whether you are at Rangers, Celtic or Aberdeen there are six or seven other 18-year-olds that were ready to take your place so you weren’t forgotten about, you were just cast aside.
“I got pushed aside. I tried to come back again about six months later but I tore a ligament in my left knee.
“We were living in a tiny two bedroom flat in Glasgow so there was no way we had Bupa or any private health insurance set up so you dusted yourself down.
“I was on my a**e, I was frustrated and I had sort of tampered with cooking and decided to go to London.
“I said I will give myself two or three years in London in order to get a great grounding and then I was desperate to get out.
“I wanted to leave the country because I was seeing my mates getting regular first team calls ups, getting into that squad and breaking into the national Scottish side. It was becoming more painful.
“I decided to learn as much as I could and get the hell out of the country and that way I could finally cut off from it and I did just that.
“At 23 I got my first job in Paris. The hurt from the football was still there but it wasn’t as apparent.”
Ramsay played in a testimonial match for Rangers against junior side East Kilbride Thistle in 1985.
The multi-millionaire Hell’s Kitchen star told Frank Warren’s Heavyweight podcast that he had a “good game” at left back and was hopeful of being signed by the club before injury struck.
He said: “I got asked to go and try out for Rangers youth team. It was a big, exciting potential contract.
“I went up there and trained throughout the summer. At the end of the summer prior to pre-season I got asked to join the reserves and the first team in a couple of friendly, sort of testimonial games.
“I remember getting the call up to go up against East Kilbride and Coisty had just broken through to the national Scottish team and there was about three players from the first team and all the rest was from the reserves and the under 18s.
“I played at left back. I thought I had a great game, I got invited back three months later and two weeks before that I was playing in a game and I smashed my cartilage.
“I was absolutely mortified.”
Ramsay has previously been accused of exaggerating claims about his stint at Ibrox.
On Desert Island Discs in 2002, he told host Sue Lawley: “I got my first-team games. I played three first-team games.”
However, the club said he was only ever on a trial and played in only one testimonial game.