Gordon James Ramsay, Jr. was born in Scotland in 1966 and moved to England when he was 5 years old, and moved to his own apartment at the age of 16 after an abusive childhood. Today he’s one of the most visible chefs on television while also being one of the most lauded chefs in the world, with 22 restaurants to his name, six of which are Michelin-starred. But even if you’re his biggest fan, we bet that there are some things that you didn’t know about him.
He Almost Became a Professional Soccer Player
Ramsay was chosen to play for the under-14 team for Warwickshire at age 12, and he played in a couple testimonial matches for his favorite team as a kid, Rangers FC. His career was sidelined by injuries, however.
He Was Fired From His First Head Chef Job for an Interesting Reason
In the early 1980s, Ramsay was head chef at the dining room at the Wickham Arms, but he was fired after he was discovered having an affair with the owner’s wife.
His First Restaurant Earned Him Three Michelin Stars
Ramsay opened his first restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in 1998, and by 2001 it had earned three Michelin stars. He also became the first Scot to achieve that feat.
He Fell Off a Cliff and Almost Drowned
In 2008, while filming a segment on puffin hunting in Iceland, he fell off an 85-foot cliff and landed in the ice water below. He had to remove his boots and clothing in order to avoid drowning, and was underwater for at least 45 seconds. “I thought I was a goner,” he later said.
He’s Active in Charity
Ramsay ran 10 marathons in 10 years in support of the Scottish Spina Bifida Association, and has been very active in supporting that charity as well as others, including Women’s Aid and ones that support HIV and Aids prevention in India.