Andy Gray says he considered taking his life after being sacked by Sky Sports.
The 66-year-old, who was the voice of Sky Sports' Premier League coverage for almost 20 years, was forced to leave the company alongside Richard Keys after they made derogatory comments about female official Sian Massey-Ellis.
After Massey made a tight offside call during Liverpool vs Wolves in 2011 – a decision that was found to be correct upon video replay – both Gray and Keys discussed her appointment.
As they sat in the studio believing their microphones were switched off, Keys said: "Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her (Massey)," before Gray replied: "Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don't know the offside rule."
Keys then stated: "Course they don't" to which Gray responded "Why is there a female linesman? Somebody's f***** up big."
Over a decade later and the pair, who currently work for beIN Sports in Qatar, gave their first UK TV interview since the controversy during a sit down chat with TalkTV host Piers Morgan.
In the chat, Gray opened up about his struggles with mental health in the aftermath of his Sky Sports sacking. He admitted to becoming so low that he almost committed suicide in his garden.
You can see that part of the interview below.
Piers began the second part of the interview by asking: "Andy, you've alluded to the fact that you had suicidal thoughts at one stage... that's serious."
Gray responded: "Yeah, that's serious. I mean you've talked about it... I've had a wonderful life. Fortunate, lucky, I played 17 years as a footballer it was glorious. Best years of my life."
"I went to work in the sport I love for a new broadcaster that was going to revolutionise football in the way it did and I had 20 years there.
"So I suddenly found myself in a really dark place. The house surrounded by people and I knew I had done something wrong, of course I did. But I couldn't compute it.
"My head was gone and if it hadn't of been for my wife, I don't know what would've happened. I really don't. Rachel is amazing, wonderful.
"I was close to one day going down the garden, where I used to have a pond, with a little bottle and a few pills and got that down. I was that bad. One day. I was that bad.
"People who know me will probably think 'yeah, you're kidding'..
"(It was) horrible, horrible and I couldn't work it out. I knew I'd done wrong but for two weeks I couldn't get out the house. Just surrounded by press and TV cameras and crews.
"Really weird, really weird. But we are through it now. I'm through it now."
During the interview, Richard Keys was asked if he regrets what was said about official Massey-Ellis.
He said: "Of course, yes. I questioned whether a young lady from Coventry, my hometown, would know the offside law as she made her debut. A female linesman.
“I, on air, because I wasn’t sure who her father was, as we went to kick-off said - ‘and we also have a female assistant, good luck to her, I don’t know I may have gone to school with her dad, she’s from my manor. All the very best to her.’
“She made a number of errors first half that I was insistent we didn’t show. Nor did we. She got one absolutely spot on, the goal that was scored against Liverpool.
"When I spoke to her the following day, she was great. She said, ‘Hey come on!’ Of course [I rang her to apologise]. She more than accepted it and said, ‘I expected this last week, it’s just a bit of fun, come on Keys.’
“I’d never really come across the word banter. She said: ‘Oh come on it’s just banter.’ That I suppose stuck in my mind. I said, ‘No, no, Sian this is really serious now. It’s got a life of its own. I have to make this an official apology on behalf of myself and Andy.’
“She said: ‘Oh by the way a couple of things first half that you didn’t show, thanks for that!’ We’re not in that business! In isolation, my questioning whether she knew the offside law was unacceptable.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@PiersUncensored
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