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Extract From Davie Weirs Autobiography


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I WASN'T included in George Burley's Scotland squad for the double-header against Holland and Iceland but the events of the 'Boozegate' drinking session at Cameron House would impact directly on Rangers and my own role at the club.

It had happened throughout my Scotland career that when you came back on the plane from a game you were allowed a couple of glasses of wine.

When you got back to the hotel, if you wanted a drink, especially if you were coming home after a night game, you were allowed a couple of pints and something to eat. The lads would have a couple of drinks and then Richard Simpson would come up and say: "Bar's shutting, the gaffer wants you in your beds."

He would have sorted what became Boozegate, but I don't think Richard was there.

Don't get me wrong, Richard had pints thrown over him and all the rest of it for going into similar situations but in this instance nobody did that.

Nobody told them they were going over the score or ushered them out.

The other players involved went to their beds, eventually, but Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor didn't.

You can't excuse what they did, they had too much to drink and stayed up too late.

I think there were hotel guests coming down for their breakfast and they were still going strong.

It should never have happened.

They were stupid but it wasn't made black and white for them as it should have been and had been in the past.

They were supposed to be training the next morning but Allan got carried to his bed basically towards lunchtime.

The manager found out about it and said he was going to send Allan and Barry home, but the players amongst themselves tried to talk him out of that.

I would imagine guys like Darren Fletcher, Gary Naysmith, James McFadden, Kenny Miller and Gary Caldwell went to see him and said: "You can't send them home if you don't send the other lads home, because they were drinking as well."

Walter Smith phoned Allan and Barry after it all came out and told them to make sure they kept their heads down, come back to the club and he'd sort it.

He had spoken to them directly and told them not to do anything stupid and take it on the chin. But they then made those infamous V-signs at photographers while sitting on the bench at Hampden before the Iceland game on, appropriately enough, April Fools' Day.

They were just trying to ruin the pictures — they weren't directed at anyone — but it was still poor behaviour.

At the pre-match meal they were talking about it apparently, saying: "We'll just spoil their pictures." You can imagine them talking like that, not with any great plan about what they were going to do, but just through stupidity.

The most stupid part of all was that they had disobeyed the gaffer's orders to behave themselves until they got back to Murray Park and that led to them both being suspended by the club and me being asked to take over as captain.

It was a big call by the manager as we were in the middle of a title race and they were two of our best players.

The consequences for Barry and his family saddened me.

He was a great player over a long period of time for Scotland.

He missed a lot of squads through injuries and had been involved over a lot of years and never got to a major championships or into the Hall of Fame.

Yet, for the length of time he played, the impact he had on Scottish football and the personality he had been in Scottish football, he should be in there.

He worked really hard and trained hard. The one silver lining of the whole business was that Darren Fletcher emerged as a respected leader within the group, although that was already the case.

There's no edge to him at all.

He's just a normal guy and I don't see why we expect him to be any different just because he plays for Manchester United.

It was a boyhood dream of mine to become captain of Rangers, but it was also kind of tarnished by what had happened.

We were going for the League and that's all that mattered to me, being captain was irrelevant.

ADAPTED from Extra Time, David Weir's autobiography, on sale from Thursday, Sep 8. Published by Hodder & Stoughton, £20.

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3794410/Walters-warning-then-this-happened.html#ixzz1X1yUAfot

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Sad state of affairs.

I'm glad McGregor made his apologies and is back in the team, but it takes a game like Saturday to realise that the Scotland team under Smith and McLeish was a great team as a unit. It was a shame Ferguson retired as he could definitely still do a job for Scotland, based on recent performances...

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Sorry Davie rule or no rule you are on International duty with another game to be played in a few days. Personally speaking i wouldn't allow any bevvying at all between these games (maybe a glass of wine with dinner) but that's me.

Typical of the Scottish/British bevvy culture and we wonder why we always lag so far behind our European Counterparts.

And on the subject of bevvying if the bulk of the team is staying up bevvying then you go to bed when everyone goes to bed. Staying up till near lunchtime was just crass behaviour and McGregor is lucky to still be playing with Rangers.

The one point Davie fails to mention (as they all do because they won't break ranks) is the role of the Grass Pressley and just what time Broon9 went to bed at and what songs he was singing just before he went to bed.

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Allan & Barry were really stupid to do that there's no getting away from it although hopefully this will show people that as stupid as the 'v' signs were they were not directed at the nation. Greegs is lucky to still be in a Rangers jersey although i do in a way feel sorry for him and Barry because like what has been said there was others involved: Scott Brown, Gary Teale, Alan Hutton, Steven Whittaker etc. why didn't they get told they weren't allowed to play in that game okay allan & barry continued it into the stupid hours of the day but like what has been said above the lego eater scott brown left just ten minutes before them why didnt he get the book flung at him to? i suppose we'll never know.

As for this article its amazing & i cannot wait to read the book itself he's coming to Ayr on the 12th to sign it at 5pm at Waterstones so i'll get it then. Davie is just a model pro real role model like davis for young children to look up to. It's the only thing in the papers i actually read because you know its 100% factual coming from the big man himself.

Sir David of Weir

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