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THE STORMS, THE SCANDALS AND THE SAVES OF ANDY GORAM.

The media attention that now seems to have proved too much for Andy Goram is nothing new.

Goram has been linked to betting, boozing and women since he started his erratic career at Oldham in 1981.

After 195 appearances for Oldham, he joined Hibs for pounds 325,000 in 1987. During four seasons at Easter Road, his first marriage broke down and off-field indiscretions dogged him.

He defied a club order not to play cricket for his country - and starred in a game against Australia.

His on-field football form was good, too, and Walter Smith forked out pounds 1million to make him his first signing for Rangers in the summer of 1991.

Goram became the backbone of a team that swept all before them at home, completing nine titles in a row, winning a Treble and coming within a whisker of European glory. His best games were Rangers' biggest - Old Firm matches, the two- leg Battle of Britain with Leeds, the Champions League run of 1992-93 and numerous cup finals.

But front-page headlines, weight problems and injuries led Smith to despair of his No.1 countless times.

Finally, in May 1994, Smith's patience broke and he transfer-listed Goram over his attitude to training while he tried to recover from knee surgery.

Goram admitted he went on booze binges at this low point in his career.

Then, realising what he would be throwing away, the keeper shed 21lbs that summer and won himself a new four-year deal - just as his second marriage, to Tracey, was hitting the rocks.

His prowess between the sticks was rarely questioned. He shut out Celtic many times, causing Hoops boss Tommy Burns to reflect that when he died they could put "Andy Goram broke my heart " on his tombstone.

But he made some uncharacteristic mistakes this season as Rangers ended the campaign empty- handed. Now, unwanted by incoming boss Dick Advocaat, he faces an uncertain future.

Goram has also caused Scotland problems in the past.

He travelled to the Mexico World Cup in 1986 as third-choice keeper, then was bitterly disappointed to lose out to sparring partner Jim Leighton at Italia 90. Now he has turned his back on his last World Cup opportunity.

Current national coach Craig Brown has kept faith with Goram, reinstating him for Euro 96, despite the fact he had pulled out of a qualifier with Greece, claiming he was not "mentally attuned".

Before yesterday's walk-out, there was every likelihood Goram would have been Brown's No.1 choice at France 98.

Instead, all Goram has to look forward to is the campaign to find a new club.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Stephen, Kenneth
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 28, 1998
Words:435
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