|Full name||Gary Winston Lineker|
|Date of birth||30 November 1960|
|Place of birth||Leicester, England|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|1992–1994||Nagoya Grampus Eight||18||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Gary Winston Lineker OBE (born 30 November 1960) is an English former footballer, who played as a striker. After retiring, he became a sports broadcaster and has worked for the BBC, Al Jazeera Sports and Eredivisie Live. He remains England's top scorer in the FIFA World Cup finals, with ten goals.
Lineker began his football career at Leicester City and became known as a prolific goalscorer; despite failing to score in his first ten games, he finished as the First Division's joint top goalscorer in 1984–85 and earned his first England cap. He then moved to League Champions Everton where he remained a clinical finisher, scoring 40 goals in 57 games. His first team honours came at Barcelona, where he won the Copa del Rey in 1988 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1989. He returned to England in 1989, joining Tottenham Hotspur, and over three seasons he scored 67 goals in 105 games and won the FA Cup. Lineker's final club was Nagoya Grampus Eight and he retired in 1994 after two seasons at the Japanese side.
Lineker made his England debut in 1984 and over the following eight years earned 80 caps and scored 48 goals, finishing as England's all-time second highest scorer behind Bobby Charlton. His international goals-to-games ratio remains one of the best for the country and he is regarded as one of the all-time best English strikers. He was top scorer in the 1986 World Cup and received the Golden Boot, the only time an Englishman has achieved this feat. He is also the only player to have won the English golden boot with 3 different clubs (Leicester City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur). After his retirement from football he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. He moved into broadcasting, working at the BBC, firstly working as a pundit on Match of the Day before he went on to present the flagship show. Lineker also worked on other programmes at the BBC. He led a consortium that invested in his old club Leicester, saving it from bankruptcy, and was appointed honorary vice-president. Since 1994, Lineker has featured in several television commercials for Walkers Crisps. He has four sons with his ex-wife Michelle and is now married to model Danielle Lineker.
Despite his long career, Lineker was never cautioned by a referee for foul play (never once receiving a yellow or red card). As a result of this accomplishment he was honoured in 1990 with the FIFA Fair Play Award.
In a senior career which spanned 16 years and 567 competitive games, Lineker scored a total of 282 goals at club level. Added to the 48 goals he scored in internationals, he managed a total of 330 goals.
Early life 
Lineker was born in Leicester to Barry and Margaret Lineker (both born 1939). His middle name came from Winston Churchill, with whom he shares his birthday. He has one younger brother, Wayne who is two years his junior. Lineker's father was a greengrocer in Leicester and he grew up with his family in the city, playing football with his brother Wayne.
Lineker first attended Caldecote Road School (Caldecote Juniors), Braunstone in Leicester (east of the Meridian Centre) although he lived outside the borough. He went to the City of Leicester Boys' Grammar School (now City of Leicester College) on Downing Drive in Evington, inside the borough of Leicester due to his preference for football rather than rugby, which was the main sport of most schools near his home. As a result he lived with his grandmother, who lived in the city, while attending school. Lineker was equally talented at both football and cricket. From the ages of 11 to 16 he captained the Leicestershire Schools cricket team and had felt that he had a higher chance of succeeding at it rather than football. He later stated on They Think It's All Over that as a teenager he idolised former England captain David Gower, who was playing for Leicestershire at the time.
Lineker left school with four O Levels. One of his teachers wrote on his report card that he "concentrates too much on football" and that he would "never make a living at that". He then joined the youth academy at Leicester City in 1976.
Club career 
Leicester City 
Lineker began his career at his home town club Leicester City after leaving school. Lineker began scoring prolifically in the early 1980s, helping Leicester win promotion to the First Division in 1980 and again in 1983. Lineker's career at Leicester started slowly and was mostly kept to odd appearances. However he began to break into being a regular starter in 1981 and forging a prolific strike-force alongside Alan Smith, Lineker hit 19 goals in all competitions in the 1981–82 season. The following season he was the English Second Division's top scorer as he helped Leicester win promotion to the top flight. Despite the step up, his scoring exploits continued and he was runner-up only to Ian Rush in the goalscoring charts the following season and then went one better as he was the First Division's joint top goalscorer in 1984–85 with 24 goals. By this stage, however, he was attracting the attention of bigger clubs, and a move from Filbert Street was looking certain.
In the 1985 close season, Lineker was sold to defending league champions Everton for £800,000, and scored 40 goals in 57 games for his new team. He was again the First Division's leading goal scorer, this time with 30 goals, and helped Everton finish second in the league. While he was at Everton, they reached the FA Cup final for the third year in a row but they lost 3–1 to Liverpool, despite Lineker giving them an early lead when he outpaced Alan Hansen to score. Liverpool had also pipped Everton to the title by just two points. "I was only on Merseyside a short time, nine or 10 months in total really, but it was still a happy time personally, while professionally it was one of the most successful periods of my career," he says. "I still have an affinity towards Everton."
Lineker scored three hat-tricks for Everton; at home to Birmingham City in a 4–1 league win on 31 August 1985, at home to Manchester City in a 4–0 home win on 11 February 1986, and then in the penultimate league game of the season on 3 May 1986, when they kept their title hopes alive with a 6–1 home win over Southampton. On his final league appearance, he scored twice in a 3–1 home win over a West Ham side whose title hopes had just disappeared. However, he and his colleagues were denied title glory as Liverpool also won their final league game of the season at Chelsea. Lineker has consistently stated since retiring from football that this Everton team was the best club side he ever played in.
After winning the Golden Boot at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Lineker was signed by Barcelona for £2,800,000. Barcelona were being managed by former Queens Park Rangers manager Terry Venables, who had also brought in Manchester United and Wales striker Mark Hughes.
His Golden Boot-winning performance at the finals led to much anticipation of success at the Camp Nou, and he did not disappoint, scoring 21 goals in 41 games during his first season, including a hat-trick in a 3–2 win over arch rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona went on to win the Copa del Rey in 1988 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1989. Lineker played in Barcelona's home and away defeats to Dundee United. Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff decided to play Lineker on the right of the midfield and he eventually lost his place in the first team.
Tottenham Hotspur 
Alex Ferguson attempted to sign Lineker to partner his ex-Barcelona team-mate Mark Hughes in attack, but Lineker spurned the Manchester club. Instead, he signed with Tottenham Hotspur in July 1989. Over three seasons, he scored 67 goals in 105 league games and won the FA Cup while playing for the club.
He finally collected an English piece of silverware when he won the 1991 FA Cup Final with Spurs, who beat Nottingham Forest 2–1. This was despite Lineker having a goal controversially disallowed for offside and also having a penalty saved by goalkeeper Mark Crossley. Lineker had contributed to Tottenham's run to the final. In the semi-final he scored twice in a 3–1 win over North London rivals Arsenal.
He was the top division's second-highest goalscorer in 1991–92 with 28 goals from 35 games, behind Ian Wright, who scored 29 times in 42 games. Despite Lineker's personal performance, Tottenham finished this final pre-Premier League season in 15th place.
Nagoya Grampus Eight 
Lineker ended his career with an injury-plagued spell in Japan's J. League with Nagoya Grampus Eight, where he made 23 appearances over two seasons, scoring nine times, before announcing his retirement in the autumn of 1994.
He officially joined Nagoya Grampus Eight after playing his final game for Spurs on 2 May 1992, when he scored the consolation goal in a 3–1 defeat by Manchester United on the last day of the season. He had accepted their offer of a two-year contract on 20 November 1991. Shortly before accepting the offer from Nagoya Grampus Eight, Tottenham had rejected an offer from ambitious Second Division club Blackburn Rovers, who had recently been taken over by steel baron Jack Walker.
International career 
He first played for the England national team against Scotland in 1984. He played five games in the 1986 World Cup, and was top scorer of the tournament with six goals, winning the Golden Boot, making him the first and to this day only English player to have done so. He scored the second quickest hat-trick ever at a FIFA World Cup tournament against Poland—in doing so, he became only the second English player to score a hat-trick at a FIFA World Cup. He played most of the tournament wearing a lightweight cast on his forearm. He did score for England in the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina, but the game ended in defeat as Diego Maradona scored twice for the opposition (the first goal being the "Hand of God" handball) and England went out of the competition. Lineker also scored a brace against Paraguay in the second round of the tournament. Lineker combined with Peter Beardsley, who also scored—to effortlessly dismantle the South American team's defence.
In the 1990 World Cup, he scored four goals to help England reach the semi-finals after a string of draws and narrow victories. After Andreas Brehme sent England 1–0 down, he scored an equaliser after receiving a pass from Paul Parker and escaping from two German defenders, but the West Germans triumphed in the penalty shoot-out and went on to win the trophy. Later he said: "Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."
He retired from international football with 80 caps and 48 goals, one fewer goal than Bobby Charlton's England record (although Charlton took 26 more caps to score his one extra goal). In what proved to be his last England match, against Sweden at Euro 1992, he was substituted by England coach Graham Taylor, in favour of Arsenal striker Alan Smith, ultimately denying Lineker the chance to equal—or even better—Charlton's record of 49 goals. He had earlier missed a penalty that would have brought him level, in a pre-tournament friendly against Brazil. He was visibly upset at the decision, not looking at Taylor as he took the bench.
He scored four goals in an England match on two occasions and is one of very few players never to have been given a yellow card or a red card in any type of game.
Media career 
Following retirement from professional football, he developed a career in the media, initially on BBC Radio 5 Live and as a football pundit before replacing Des Lynam as the BBC's anchorman for football coverage, including their flagship football television programme Match of the Day, and as a team captain on the sports game show They Think It's All Over from 1995 to 2003. Following the departure of Steve Rider from the BBC, Lineker, who is a keen recreational golfer with a handicap of four, became the new presenter for the BBC's golf coverage. Despite receiving some criticism from his peers, he continued to front the BBC's coverage of the Masters and The Open, where he put his language skills to good use by giving an impromptu interview in Spanish with Argentinian Andrés Romero.
He presented a six-part TV Series for the BBC in 1998 (directed by Lloyd Stanton) called Golden Boots, with other football celebrities. It was an extensive history of the World Cup focusing on the 'Golden Boots' (top scorers).
In 2002, Lineker took on his first acting role, barring roles playing himself in films such as Bend It Like Beckham or in the adapted-for-television stage play An Evening with Gary Lineker, as the voice of Underground Ernie on the BBC's children's channel, CBeebies. Both Gary and Michelle Lineker make a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-them' appearance as diners leaving a restaurant in the 1993 Eric Idle film Splitting Heirs.
In 2003, Lineker was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Lineker was sued for defamation by Australian footballer Harry Kewell over comments Lineker had made writing in his column in the Sunday Telegraph about Kewell's transfer from Leeds United to Liverpool. However the jury was unable to reach a verdict. It transpired in the case that the article had actually been ghost-written by a journalist at the Sunday Telegraph following a telephone interview with Lineker.
In December 2008, Lineker appeared on the ITV1 television programme Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Christmas Special where he and English rugby union player Austin Healey won £50,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
In 2009, Lineker and his wife Danielle hosted a series of the BBC's Northern Exposure, following on from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen from the previous year in visiting and showcasing locations throughout Northern Ireland.
In May 2010, Lineker resigned from his role as columnist for The Mail on Sunday in protest over the sting operation against Lord Triesman that jeopardised England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Triesman resigned as chairman of the bid and the FA on 16 May 2010 after the publication of a secret recording of a conversation between the peer and a former ministerial aide, during which he claimed that Spain and Russia were planning to bribe referees at the World Cup in South Africa. Lineker currently anchors the English language football coverage for Al Jazeera Sports, which is broadcast throughout much of the Middle East.
Walkers advertisements 
His popularity has enabled him to appear in a light-hearted series of commercials for Walkers, playing a comical role as an arch-villain which sends up his reputation as a nice guy. He has been fronting these adverts since 1995, making this one of the longest running advertising campaigns ever. Walkers, a Leicester-based British producer of snack foods, temporarily named their salt and vinegar crisps after Lineker in the late 1990s—they were labelled 'Salt-n-Lineker'. This was also because his favourite flavour crisps are salt and vinegar.[dead link] Lineker's involvement with Walkers caused Mark E. Smith, singer with The Fall, to coin the nickname 'Crisp Man' for him.
Video games 
In 1998, Lineker provided his voice (along with Des Lynam) for the menu screens in EA Sports' World Cup 98. In 2001, Lineker was approached by game makers Codemasters to front the LMA Manager series on PlayStation. Lineker would pair up with Alan Hansen, fellow MOTD pundit to voice the post match comments on the game, with Barry Davies voicing the commentary. Since then the game has sold millions of copies and in LMA Manager 2006, Lineker voices news items and the cup draws on the game. In 2004 he was also chosen to front the Codemasters England International Football game, with him voicing the team selection and the pre- and post-match menus.
Personal life 
Lineker was made a freeman of the City of Leicester (which entitles him to graze his sheep—should he have any—on Town Hall Square) in 1995 and he is often referred to as "Leicester's favourite son". As a youngster, he famously worked on his family's stall in Leicester Market. Lineker still helped out on the stall at the height of his playing career during the late 1980s and early 1990s, though usually only in the closed season. His links with cricket were renewed when he was invited to become Honorary President of Kent-based wandering cricket club, Paraguayan Elbows CC. The club, which was founded in 1986, was named in his honour after an incident in that summer's World Cup match between England and Paraguay.
Lineker married Michelle Cockayne in 1986, but they divorced in August 2006. They announced their split in April 2006 but stated that the situation was amicable. They have four sons, George, Harry, Tobias and Angus. His oldest son George survived a rare form of leukaemia as a baby in the early 1990s; Lineker now supports children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent and has since appeared in adverts encouraging people to give blood as a result. Lineker has been actively involved with other cancer charities such as Leukaemia Busters, where between 1994 and 2005 Gary and Michelle were the charity’s patrons. He has also been involved with Fight for Life and Cancer Research UK.
In October 2002, Lineker backed a £5 million bid to rescue his former club Leicester City which recently had gone into administration, describing his involvement as charity rather than an ego trip. He said that he would invest a six-figure sum and other members of his consortium would invest a similar amount. Lineker met the fans' group to persuade them to try and raise money to rescue his former club. Another six-figure sum donor was Emile Heskey, who had not only followed in Lineker's footsteps by going to the same school as him, but also went on to play for Leicester City and England. The club was saved from liquidation. Lineker is now honorary vice-president of Leicester City, along with former players Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton.
Career statistics 
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1978–79||Leicester City||Second Division||7||1||—||—||—||7||1|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Copa de la Liga||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1989–90||Tottenham Hotspur||First Division||38||24||1||0||6||2||—||45||26|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||J. League Cup||Asia||Total|
|1993||Nagoya Grampus Eight||J. League||7||1||0||0||5||4||—||12||5|
|England national team|
International goals 
- Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
|1||26 March 1985||Wembley Stadium||Republic of Ireland||2–1||Friendly||1|
|2, 3||16 June 1985||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||United States||5–0||Friendly||2|
|4, 5, 6||16 October 1985||Wembley Stadium||Turkey||5–0||1986 World Cup qualifier||3|
|7, 8, 9||11 June 1986||Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey||Poland||3–0||1986 World Cup||3|
|10, 11||18 June 1986||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City||Paraguay||3–0||1986 World Cup||2|
|12||22 June 1986||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City||Argentina||1–2||1986 World Cup||1|
|13, 14||15 October 1986||Wembley Stadium||Northern Ireland||3–0||Euro 1988 qualifier||2|
|15, 16, 17, 18||18 February 1987||Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid||Spain||4–2||Friendly||4|
|19||19 May 1987||Wembley Stadium||Brazil||1–1||Friendly (Rous Cup)||1|
|20||9 September 1987||Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf||West Germany||1–3||Friendly||1|
|21, 23||14 October 1987||Wembley Stadium||Turkey||8–0||Euro 1988 qualifier||3|
|24||24 May 1988||Wembley Stadium||Colombia||1–1||Friendly (Rous Cup)||1|
|25||23 March 1988||Wembley Stadium||Netherlands||2–2||Friendly||1|
|26||28 May 1988||Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne||Switzerland||1–0||Friendly||1|
|27||26 April 1989||Wembley Stadium||Albania||5–0||1990 World Cup qualifier||1|
|28||3 June 1989||Wembley Stadium||Poland||3–0||1990 World Cup qualifier||1|
|29||7 July 1989||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen||Denmark||1–1||Friendly||1|
|30||28 March 1990||Wembley Stadium||Brazil||1–0||Friendly||1|
|31||15 May 1990||Wembley Stadium||Denmark||1–0||Friendly||1|
|32||11 June 1990||Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari||Republic of Ireland||1–1||1990 World Cup||1|
|33, 34||1 July 1990||Stadio San Paolo, Naples||Cameroon||3–2||1990 World Cup||2|
|35||4 July 1990||Stadio delle Alpi, Turin||West Germany||1 – 1p||1990 World Cup||1|
|36||22 September 1990||Wembley Stadium||Hungary||1–0||Friendly||1|
|37||17 October 1990||Wembley Stadium||Poland||2–0||Euro 1992 qualifier||1|
|38, 39||6 February 1991||Wembley Stadium||Cameroon||2–0||Friendly||2|
|40||26 July 1991||Wembley Stadium||Argentina||2–2||Friendly (England Challenge Cup)||1|
|41||3 June 1991||Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland||New Zealand||1–0||Friendly||1|
|42, 43, 44, 45||12 June 1991||Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur||Malaysia||4–2||Friendly||4|
|46||13 November 1991||Stadion Miejski, Poznań||Poland||1–1||Euro 1992 qualifier||1|
|47||19 February 1992||Wembley Stadium||France||2–0||Friendly||1|
|48||29 April 1992||Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow||CIS||2–2||Friendly||1|
- English League Top Scorer: 1984–85, 1985–86, 1989–90
- English Second Division Top Scorer: 1982–83
- FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe: 1986
- PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1985–86
- FWA Footballer of the Year: 1985–86, 1991–92
- Ballon d'Or: Runner-up 1986
- FIFA World Player of the Year: third place 1991
- "Northern Ireland – Patrick Kielty, Almost Live". BBC. 30 November 1960. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Multi-talented footballers". guardian.co.uk. 10 August 2005.
- Ferguson, Euan (8 April 2007). "He's still the golden shot". The Observer (UK). Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- "Caldecote Primary". Caldecote.leicester.sch.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Gary Lineker". independent.co.uk. 4 March 2010.
- They Think It's All Over, Series 6 Episode 2 (1998)
- "Gary Lineker". Talk Football. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
- "E.ON Great Saves No.6: Mark Crossley". Mirror Football. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- "Tottenham v Arsenal: Top five North London derbies". Metro.co.uk. 14 April 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "The Times and The Sunday Times Archive". Newsint-archive.co.uk. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Jack Walker". Daily Telegraph. UK. 19 August 2000. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- C Malam, p100
- The first was against Spain 18 February 1987 and the second time against Malaysia 12 June 1991
- "FIFA Classic Match: Gazza weeps as Germans prevail". FIFA.com. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- "Sweden 2 England 1 Match Summary and Report". England Football Online. EnglandInteractive. 17 June 1992. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- "Past encounters between England and Brazil". The Guardian (UK). 12 November 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Malam, p140&141
- Simon Parke. "A sporting chance for unity". Church Times. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- "Golden Boots". IMDb. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Booth, Robert (4 July 2006). "Lineker and Kewell settle libel case out of court". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 13 November 2006.
- Gary and Danielle's Northern Exposure at DiscoverNorthernIreland.com
- Ducker, James (19 May 2010). "Gary Lineker kicks column into touch in protest over Lord Triesman sting". The Times (UK). Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Arrowsmith, Richard (14 May 2012). "Joey Barton starts on Gary Lineker". Daily Mirror (UK). Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Lineker forced to take crisp break Daily Mail
- "The story behind the Paraguayan Elbows CC". Retrieved 13 November 2006.
- "Gary Lineker and wife to separate". BBC News. 30 April 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2006.
- "Background of Leukaemia Busters". Leukaemiabusters.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- "Gary's goal is to fight leukaemia (From Daily Echo)". Dailyecho.co.uk. 16 October 2000. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Fight for Life Appeal 2008". Fightforlife.org. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- "Gary Lineker to face questioning for Cancer Research UK charity fundraiser", Charities Aid Foundation, 3 March 2008. Retrieved on 4 March 2008.
- "Lineker keen to bail out Leicester for his boys' sake". telegraph.co.uk. 24 October 2002.
- "Lineker unveils Leicester rescue bid BBC Sport October 2002". BBC News. 23 October 2002. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
- Sheridan, Emily (2013-01-27). "That didn't last long! Gary Lineker returns to Twitter just EIGHT days after quitting". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- "Gary Lineker – Goals in International Matches". Rsssf.com. 29 January 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "English League Leading Goalscorers". rsssf.com. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
Gary Lineker: Strikingly Different, Colin Malam, Stanley Paul Publications, London, 1993 ISBN 0-09-175424-0