Sexy texts bring down football icon
FORMER football star turned television pundit Andy Gray has been dumped by his wife after she caught him sexting two women and flirting with a young TV sports reporter.
Furious Rachel Gray, 47, flew back to Britain from their home in Qatar and confirmed to The Sun on Sunday their six-year marriage was over
The split echoes that of Gray's TV colleague Richard Keys, who left his wife of 36 years after an affair with a friend of his daughter Jemma.
Former model Rachel told friends she found messages on Gray's mobile from two women.
One is a dog breeder in the North West of England and the other is a Qatar-based nurse.
Friends said Rachel then learned the ex-Everton and Scotland striker - who enjoyed a professional career that spanned more than 15 years and won 20 international caps - had also been flirting with engaged TV colleague Kate Mason, 32, who is said to have rebuffed his advances.
A source confirmed: "They were not innocent messages. They were enough to make Rachel take a long, hard look at their relationship and decide it was over.
"She felt the trust had gone and she could no longer be with him.
"She took her marriage very seriously and she was not going to be messed about.
"She's since found out he was also flirting with Kate, who works with him at beIN SPORTS."
Rachel also saw that father-of-five Gray had "liked'' most of Mason's pictures on Instagram.
A friend added: "Rachel was travelling quite a bit back and forth to England from the capital Doha as she has a business and a daughter.
"She's not gone into all the details but it looks like something was ongoing, especially with the woman who is a dog breeder.
"He was being very flirty with a female presenter too. She was engaged and told him so but he's very persistent as we know and old habits die hard.
"Rachel's taken it pretty philosophically and has decided to move on with her life."
Gray, 63, and Keys, 61, have been based in Doha for more than six years and present weekend Premier League matches, as well as a Friday night preview show.
They moved there after leaving Sky Sports in 2011 following sexist comments about women including Premier League assistant referee Sian Massey. Footage also emerged of Gray asking presenter Charlotte Jackson to tuck his microphone down his trousers.
He tied the knot with Rachel in 2012 and they lived in a luxury tower block apartment overlooking an expat complex called The Pearl.
Rachel moved back to the UK last month. Speaking at her home in Solihull, where she runs a fashion shop, she told The Sun on Sunday: "We have split up, but I'm still good friends with Andy."
When asked why they had parted, she added: "I don't really want to go into it. We've been apart for a few months now.
"We are still great mates and have known each other for 25 years. I just wish him all the best."
Asked about sources saying she had suspicions he was seeing a younger woman in Doha, she replied: "He may have a younger blonde but I honestly don't have a bad word to say about him."
Just before Christmas Mason posted a picture on Twitter of her with Gray as she interviewed him at Doha Golf Club where he and Keys are regulars.
She wrote: "Discussing feminism this afternoon with a friend of mine.''
Meanwhile pictures on Rachel's Facebook page, which have now been removed, showed her seeing in New Year 2018 with Gray and former Everton teammate Peter Reid in Doha.
But other images on social media from last Christmas show Gray celebrating without her at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Doha. And on New Year's Eve he again appeared to be without Rachel.
The couple met in 2000 when Gray, who had only recently split from Olympic gymnast Suzanne Dando, was in Spain on holiday.
Rachel was living in Marbella with then husband Michael Lewis - Gray's best friend who he had known since he was a teenager at English football club Aston Villa.
Gray had even made a speech at their wedding. Lewis confronted Gray when he suspected him of sleeping with his wife and he initially denied anything untoward.
Lewis later said: "He was at my wedding toasting us and then he went and slept with my wife behind my back. I can't believe they would do this to me. I've been friend with Andy for years but he has just ruined my life."
This story first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission