LEGENDARY actor Sir Sean Connery begged Gennaro Gattuso to stay at Rangers when his footballing career was just taking off.
The Italian was playing at Ibrox as a 19-year-old after completing a deal from Perugia in 1997.
His stay in Scotland was brief and after Walter Smith was replaced by manager Dick Advocaat a year later, Gattuso was sold to Salernitana.
He left an impression on the late Connery, who was born in Edinburgh but was a massive Rangers fan.
So much so that the James Bond actor sought him out to personally plead with him to remain at the club.
Paying tribute to Connery, who died aged 90 on Saturday, the now-Napoli manager said: "I only met him once.
"The president then was David Murray, he was part of the board and, it's true, one evening he spoke to me and he didn't want me to leave
"I just want to send a big hug to all of his family, I definitely have beautiful memories of him. He had a great charm, great personality, he made cinema history."
Connery's instincts on Gattuso were right with the tough-tackling midfielder enjoying a career at the very top.
He would play over 468 times for giants AC Milan winning two league titles, lifting the Champions League on two occasions and the World Cup in 2006.
Meanwhile, it was revealed how Connery turned down a Manchester United contract after legendary manager Matt Busby offered him £25 a week.
He impressed Sir Matt so much in a practice game with ACTORS that the Old Trafford chief asked him to join straight afterwards.
But Connery, a 6ft 2in right-winger, rejected The Theatre of Dreams for the silver screen – as he felt he was too old at 23 to take up a playing career.
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