CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay is in more hot water over his claims he was part of Oxford United’s youth set-up.

The 42-year-old Scot’s claims that he was close to making it as a first team professional with Glasgow side Rangers were exposed as untrue at the weekend and last night there were similar question marks over his recollections of playing for United.

Mr Ramsay told BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs in 2002 he was spotted by a Rangers scout while playing for Oxford United’s youth team.

And in an interview with the Evening Standard in 1998 he was also quoted as saying: “It was during a county match when I was 15 that I was spotted by an Oxford United scout.

“Then, during an FA Youth Cup match against Arsenal when I was 16, I was spotted by a Glasgow Rangers scout.”

But Oxford United have never played Arsenal in an FA Youth Cup match and neither the club nor a historian have any evidence of Mr Ramsay ever having pulled on the yellow shirt.

A U’s spokesman said: “Our records don’t go back to the time when Gordon would have been playing and the youth team coaches have since moved on. However, we don’t have concrete evidence that he ever played for Oxford United and none of those coaches around at that time can remember him playing for us.”

Fan Martin Brodetsky , who is compiling a history of Oxford United, added: “I’m pretty sure he has never played for the club.

“As far as I can tell there is no record of him playing, but I can’t state that categorically.”

If he had been with the club, he would have played in the early 80s but any existing records from that time show no sign of his involvement with the club.

Mr Brodetsky said a programme from a youth team game against Watford in December 1981 showed no record of any Ramsay, nor did reports of two youth team fixtures in 1982.

Experts connected to Rangers ridiculed his claims of playing three first team games before injury cut short hopes of a professional career.

In his autobiography, Humble Pie, Mr Ramsay said he played for Broughton and North Newington FC and Banbury United while studying at North Oxfordshire Technical College. Phil Lines, Banbury’s manager at the time, said: “He was a young left-back who played for our reserve team and had a few games for the first team. He was an excellent prospect. He reminded me of Stuart Pearce.

“He was actually a very quiet and introverted kid, he was very focused on his own game.”

A Ramsay spokeswoman said the chef had always played down his footballing past.

She added: “Any inaccuracies regarding the details of this period can be explained by the fact that all this occurred nearly 25 years ago.”