former Scotland, Everton and Rangers striker: GAVE
him a glib cover story after Rachel, 36, stayed overnight at his luxury home following an all-day bender. DENIED any fling when challenged by Michael - calmly saying he was disappointed t
o be asked. HAD the bare-faced cheek to offer Michael his support after his marriage hit a sticky patch. BRAZENLY rang to wish him a happy birthday just hours after romping with Rachel. Opening his heart to The People, Michael said: Gray was my best friend and he lied to my face. When I first suspected he was having an affair with my wife and confronted him, he turned on the charm and convinced me it was all rubbish. I believed him. He hugged me and told me I would sort my marriage problems out. Gray seemed so genuine and I was so relieved. Now I know he was lying through his teeth. I have been left a broken man by what he has done. Michael told of the awful moment he found out about twice-married Grays tryst with Rachel in the presidential suite of the Gvadalpin Hotel in the resort of Puerto Banus - after she had originally booked asnother room for Michaels birthday. Michael said: I spoke to her the day they were seen kissing at the airport. She told me she had not even spoken to Andy. Now I know she spent the night with him. It makes me feel sick. Michael, who ran designer clothes stores in the Midlands, met Gray - dubbed Randy Andy because of his love of pretty women - in the 1970s when he was playing for Aston Villa. They became closer after Gray, now Britains highest-paid soccer pundit, retired from the game. Meanwhile Michael had met ex-model Rachel when she worked in one of his boutiques. Two years ago the couple moved to Marbella with their two children from previous relationships. The couple would go on holiday with Gray and his current girlfriends to Spain and the Caribbean. Recalling how charmer Gray wowed guests with his speech at the couples Majorca wedding, Michael said: I never imagined he would be responsible for ruining my marriage. This February interior designer Rachel returned to England for a week to help Gray decorate his new mansion in Lapworth, Warks. They discussed plans over lunch - which turned into an all-day boozing session. Rachel stayed the night.
Michael said: They had rung me and said they were going for a bite to eat. Next day I could not contact her. Andy said she had gone home the night before. I left messages with her friends but nobody had seen her so I started to panic a bit. A few hours later Andy called back and he admitted she had slept in his spare room because she had too much to drink. Rachel apologised. It sounded suspicious but I believed them both. Why wouldnt I? Michael said he and Rachel had been rowing over money worries but he thought the marriage was back on track. Then a mobile phone bill arrived, revealing calls and texts between his wife and best pal. I decided to confront him, said Michael. We went for a beer and I asked straight out if anything was going on. He was lost for words at first, which is unlike Andy. But he said he was both pleased and disappointed that I had asked. He looked me in the eyes and denied everything. He knew about my marriage problems and told me he would help me sort them out. He said nothing would make him happier than Rachel and I sorting things out. He seemed so genuine. It was just days later that Gray - who dumped former Olympic gymnast Suzanne Dando last year - arranged the secret rendezvous with Rac Gray who has five children by four different women - flew to the Costa del Sol after commentating in France. Mike said: Rachel rang me from the hotel on my birthday. She said she had gone to check the hotel out because some friends were keen to stay there that night. She told me to have a nice day. Now I know she was in the hotel having breakfast in bed with my best mate after they spent the night to gether. She must e asked him to keep his mouth shut while she phoned me, which makes me sick. Michael has not spoken to Rachel or Gray since finding out about their night together. He said: Andy is obviously not man enough to speak to me. He is always having casual flings with women. He has enough opportunities so he does not need to try it on with my wife. He may have a great time . with her but it will never [ last. I hope he loves and respects her as I have ut I dont think he will - that is the sad thing. I feel betrayed by both of them but I think Andy has taken advantage of my wife. He is supposed to be my best friend. We made a pact. Thats what makes this so much harder. I feel I have lost my two closest friends - Andy and Rachel. Michael added: I dont know what I would do if I saw him again. I would like to ask him why he has done this to me. I think he has always admired Rachel from afar and admired us as a couple and now he has ruined that. I feel sorry for him. It shows what a desperate, shallow man he really is. Now he has to live with what hes done to me and my family. email@example.com