The former Rangers captain - now at Birmingham City after a £1million summer transfer - has spoken for the first time exclusively to the Evening Times about the events of March 28, at Cameron House on Loch Lomondside, which will live with him forever.

Ferguson and team-mate Allan McGregor drank through the night after returning from Scotland's 3-0 defeat to Holland in a World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam.

Just days later, they were photographed making V-sign gestures while sitting on the bench during the international game against Iceland. The duo were fined two weeks wages by Rangers and suspended for a fortnight and were given a life ban from playing for their country.

There has been much speculation as to what went on at the squad hotel that night, but Ferguson today sets the record straight and also reveals his shame at the damage the whole episode caused to his mum and dad, wife Margaret and kids Connor, 14, nine-year-old Kyle and Cara, aged seven.

"It's not a nice feeling when you know that something you have done - a big error of judgment - causes so much trouble and impacts on your family," Ferguson said.

"They mean everything to me and it hurt me that I had let the family down. Margaret was upset and I let her and my mum and dad down.

"So I sent them all away to Dubai for the first week of my suspension. I just wanted to be myself to try and come to terms with what I had just done, how stupid I had been and what I would do next to try and get back on track." Ferguson then revealed how he dealt with his suspension from Rangers by running around Motherwell's Strathclyde Park every morning.

He added: "I read a lot of stuff that I had ran away abroad and was sunning myself as if nothing had happened.

"The truth is that I went for a run every morning at 8am around Strathclyde Park. It's where I tried to clear my head and do my thinking. There was an older couple who would see me every day on the same track and they would just nod and wonder what I was doing every day. They had a wee Jack Russell dog and a few days into my runs he started going for me! Even the dogs were upset with me! Seriously, though, I knew I had disgraced myself and a lot of people around me. That was hard, it was the worst two weeks of my life."

There have been many whispers about what went on at Cameron House, so much so that Ferguson joked there must have been two or three' of him to get around the hotel and into the places he was said to have been.

He wants to set the record straight in certain issues. He knows he was in the wrong and he knows the episode has tarnished his reputation. But he continued: "I want to set a few things straight. Like everyone else I've heard and been told about what I was supposed to have done.

"First, I should have gone to my bed an hour or so earlier like the rest of the players. Allan and I have paid a price for that mistake and I deeply regret it. Secondly, the V-gestures were wrong. It happened, it shouldn't have and I look like an idiot for that.

"But there was no roaming about the hotel bumping into guests, fighting in the bar or urinating in swimming pools like people have claimed.

"The SFA laid on food and drinks for us when we got back from the airport in the early hours. Some of us stayed up - in the same bar, the whole time - and I should have known better and stopped before I did. It's something that has tarnished me, but I wanted to at least put over my side of events. I hold my hands up, I got it wrong, big time but people make mistakes, and I need to learn from what happened."