CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay has been accused of lying about playing professional soccer to fight his way to the top of the food chain.
The foul-mouthed chef allegedly fabricated his much publicised soccer career with top European club Glasgow Rangers, with club officials saying it never happened.
The explosive accusation - published yesterday in British newspaper News of the World - comes just months after Ramsay was caught up in a sex scandal, in which it was alleged he had been cheating on wife Tana.
Ramsay, 42, has repeatedly bragged about being signed to the top Scottish side as a 16-year-old, saying he played with the team until a knee injury forced him off the pitch and into the kitchen.
It is believed he invented the soccer story in 1994 to help launch his first restaurant, London's Aubergine.
He has told of playing for the side in countless TV, radio and newspaper interviews since, including on Oz ABC TV's Enough Rope last year.
He really is a pathetic individual. He savours treating people like crap. Well now he knows what it feels like as the tabloids take apart all of his lies.
In his 2006 autobiography, Humble Pie, Ramsay even went into detail about what it was like playing for the top side.
"Outside the stadium, you'd be signing things like pillow cases and the side of prams, and families would turn up with their kids to have their trainers signed."
But club officials have slammed Ramsay's claims.
Respected Rangers historian, Robert McElroy, said Ramsay never signed for the team, never played in senior matches and was never offered a contract.
"It's all complete and utter nonsense," McElroy told News of the World.
And legendary Rangers coach Archie Knox - who the chef blamed for "dumping" him from the club - wasn't even with the club at the time of Ramsay's claims.
"He must be a very confused individual. I was the manager of Dundee at the time," Knox said.
"The first time I ever saw Gordon Ramsay was in 1996 when he launched his first book ... but he didn't know me from Adam because we'd never met."
Even friend and fellow top chef Marco Pierre White, said he once admitted he had invented his Rangers career telling him: "It just came out of my mouth and it was a good story at the time."
When Ramsay appeared on Radio Four show Desert Island Discs in 2002, Ramsay told host Sue Lawley how he was spotted by a Rangers scout while playing for Oxford United's youth team.
And how his family moved to Scotland to support him.
Lawley asks in the show: "And in the end the whole family uprooted and went to Glasgow because of you?"
Ramsay replies: "Because of the support. I think anyone signing for a professional team needs that kind of comfort."
In his autobiography, the chef claimed he started playing in testimonial games at Rangers and was included on the first-team sheet.
A club spokesman said Ramsay had trialled with the team and played a testimonial game, but failed to secure a contract.
Then manager assistant John Hagart said: "I don't remember Gordon Ramsay being at Rangers at all and I have a very good memory.
"He certainly never played in the first team. I looked after the reserve team as well as the youth sides and he wasn't in any of those either."
Ramsay's representative said the chef had no comment to make on the story.
Vest say's, I never use the 'H' word however, I dislike that Foul "f" word spouting 3rd class celebrity with great intensity. "What an Asshole".