But the Blues title-winning captain was in the midst of a gambling hell when he delivered a legendary display in a 5-0 win at Millwall, as his team stormed to the Premier League.
And that led to Pompey boss Harry Redknapp stuffing 30,000 in cash down his trousers during the game at The Den, for Merson to settle a debt.
Redknapps men went to south east London with their title charge at full throttle in March 2003, and then executed a demolition job on the Lions.
It was Merson who was at the heart of the victory, as he pulled the strings with a…
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