You might have heard by now...Frankie Boy is back in town.

I had heard bulletins of Frank McAvennie ducking here and diving there, so the time seemed ripe for a catch-up. "Aye, sure," Frank says to me on the phone. "I'm in the gym tomorrow morning . . . how about a coffee afterwards?" Sure thing, Frank, I tell him.

I find McAvennie at 53 looking pretty well, though he has the faintest hint of a pot at the midriff and he hobbles a bit when he walks. "I've almost just got one leg," Frank explains. "This one [his left] is finished." He tries to wiggle the ankle. "Look, it can hardly move," he says. The years catch up.

Frank is back in Scotland, it would seem, after another "domestic". Wife no.2 has just been jettisoned, the result of some pretty stark talking by Frank.

It seems he is also temporarily divorced from his driving licence, though he is keen to point out this is due to speeding offences, and not drink-related.

"My wife and I had been together for a while; 14 years I'd been down in Newcastle," he says. "But there's been a split. I'm getting divorced. Two times married, now two times divorced. It's a shame, but it was on the cards. What can you do? I'm back on the market..."

Just as I was expressing regret over this turn of events, Frank clarified it for me. "Thing is, my wife found out I wanted to come back up to Scotland . . . but not with her. That speeded things up a bit, in terms of the divorce. It went downhill fairly rapidly after that. I don't think we'll be keeping in touch. Saying that, once the bitterness passes, maybe we will. But not just now."

Whenever anyone in Scotland sees Frank McAvennie they cannot get the Jonathan Watson caricature out of their heads. I was just the same sipping coffee with him yesterday.

Does he mind this infamous send-up? "Naw, I think some of the things Jonathan does are hilarious," he says. "But there's not much reality, really, between me and him [the caricature]. Yes, I was Jack the Lad, everyone knows that. I loved chasing after girls . . . the chase was great.

"But I'm older now. I was in Corinthian [the Glasgow nightclub] recently and this girl came up to me and said, 'you know what Frank, you're a lot better looking in real life than you are on the telly.' She was referring to the Johnnie Watson character. I said to her, 'but we're different people, can't you get that?' But, naw, she couldn't. Actually, a few people have told me they think I'm better looking than the character on the telly. So I'm delighted about that. I take it as a compliment."

It is now 25 years since a McAvennie-inspired Celtic won the double in the club's centenary year. He was a terrific striker – all headers, running and goals – whose greatest season had actually been two years earlier, in 1985-86, when, newly arrived at West Ham United, he scored 26 goals and came as close to winning the First Division title.

In Scotland, McAvennie is lauded and loved for his time at Celtic. My hunch, though, is that his own most prized memory is of his time in the east end of London. "I did something at West Ham that will never be done again," he says.

"We didn't win the league but I will never get back what I had there. I scored 26 goals; only Gary Lineker beat me and he took a load of penalties. It was a brilliant time. I loved West Ham, and the fans really took to me."

It was while in London that Frank dated the busty wench-cum-model, Jenny Blyth, whose mere appearance virtually made his tongue fall out. The two of them were regularly photographed out on London town. Frank was besotted with Blyth. I used to imagine a cartoon image of him skiing down the great ravine of her cleavage, his scarf flapping behind him.

Ms Blyth was one reason (perhaps two) why, after just 17 months at Celtic, Frank was begging Billy McNeill to let him return to West Ham, to which the Celtic manager finally consented in March 1989.

"I don't know where she is now," Franks ponders aloud of his old amour. "I've lost touch. Five years we were an item but I ain't got a clue where she is. She was the love of my life at one point . . . but they all were.

"Lots of stories were told about me in London, but not all of them were true. One of them says I left a restaurant at 8am one Saturday morning and went and scored two goals that afternoon. It's a great story, but it's not true. I never went out beyond a Wednesday night before a Saturday, never. I wasn't a good professional, of course I wasn't, but I was fit. And I scored goals. And in a game I'd cover more ground than anyone for the cause."

McAvennie's second tours of duty at both Celtic and West Ham were less successful, and he ended up in a bad way when his career finished in the mid-1990s. "I went off the rails. I got wrecked on booze and drugs. I started waking up in strangers' houses and would say, 'what am I doing here?' I got arrested over drugs and I said to myself, 'right, that's it, enough of this.' I was never addicted to drugs, I was just looking for something else after football. After football I didn't know what to do with myself – I had nothing.

"It was a hard time, but I got out of it. The only person that can help you in these situations is yourself. I didn't need to go to a psychiatrist or anything; I knew what I had to do. I was taking too many drugs. I got arrested, I proved my innocence, but after that, that was it. I got out of all that stuff."

And you're clean now, Frank, right? "I'm clean now. God, yes, very much so. I still take a drink, but mainly in moderation. And the big thing for me now is that I pick my friends, they don't pick me. That's the biggest difference for me."

Frank says he's got "a coupla wee business things going on" which he is excited about. In a fraught career and an even more fraught life, he earned well as a footballer but missed out on the boom times.

"I've got a decent pension but, put it this way, I've still got to work," he says. "The money I earned in the 1980s was good but it wasn't life-changing. I got nowhere near the stuff of today. Four grand a week, five grand a week; that's the most I ever earned.

"I've got a wee agency with some good players aboard. When I say an agency, I'm not an agent myself, but we employ an agent. What I do is, I introduce my business partner to my contacts – cos I've got a stack of those – and he gets on with it. When I go and talk to managers all they want to talk to me about is football and have a laugh – so that's what I do. But then my partner does the other stuff, the business.

"I've got another wee venture going on . . . I hope there is a business thing gonna happen this year that will be good for me. If it comes off it will be brilliant. Fingers crossed, it's in the pipeline."

With this, Frank is off, to play some charity golf with John Hartson. I find the guy highly likeable – perhaps Scottish football's ultimate lovable rogue.