Gary Lineker is a retired English footballer who was once regarded as one of the best strikers in the world. He is the third highest goal scorer among English players, and he holds the record for most goals scored in FIFA World Cup finals for England. He was a versatile athlete in his youth, playing both football and cricket before deciding to pursue a career in football. He began his career at Leicester City, his hometown club, and his prolific goal-scoring helped the club gain promotion to the Premier League. He spent a season with Everton after his time with Leicester City. He was signed by Spanish club Barcelona after a strong showing for the English national side at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He spent three years with the club. After leaving Barcelona, he went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur in England, where he helped the London team win the FA Cup. Following his playing career, he went on to have a successful media career and is now a well-known sports broadcaster.
Childhood and Adolescence
Gary Lineker was born on November 30, 1960, in Leicester, England, to Barry and Margaret P. Lineker. His father was a greengrocer in Leicester, and he had a younger brother named Wayne.
He attended the Caldecote Road School before moving on to the City of Leicester Boys’ Grammar School, which was a better fit for football-obsessed kids. At school, he was a talented athlete who excelled in both football and cricket.
For five years, he captained the Leicestershire Schools cricket team, and he pondered pursuing a career in cricket rather than football.
He chose against going to university after graduating from high school and began focusing on a possible career in football. He joined the youth divisions of his hometown club Leicester City in 1976.
The Career of Gary
Gary Lineker progressed fast through Leicester City’s junior system and quickly advanced to the main team as a striker. His spectacular goal-scoring contributed significantly to the club’s promotion to the First Division in 1980.
He scored 19 goals for the club in the 1981–1982 season, and one season later he was the top scorer in the English Second Division, assisting the club in regaining promotion to the First Division.
He continued to score goals for Leicester City in the First Division after their promotion, and he finished the season as the league’s second-best goal scorer in 1984. In the same year, he made his England national team debut.
He was the leading goal scorer in the 1984–1985 season, with 24 goals. Following his success with Leicester, he joined defending league champions Everton for £800,000 at the end of the season.
He played with Everton for one season, scoring 30 goals and finishing as the top scorer in the English Premier League. Everton made it to the FA Cup final but lost to Liverpool.
Lineker led England’s assault in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, scoring six goals and finishing as the tournament’s top goal scorer, however, England was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Argentina.
His achievement at the 1986 World Cup earned him a global celebrity, and he was subsequently signed by the Spanish club Barcelona for £2,800,000. In his first season, he scored 21 goals, and in his second, he helped the team win the Copa del Ray in 1988 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989. He scored 42 goals in 103 league appearances during his three-year stay with the club.
He led the English attack at the European Championships in 1988, but the national side was knocked out in the first round after failing to score any goals.
He scored four goals in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, helping England reach the semifinals. He appeared in 80 games for the national team, scoring 48 goals.
In 1989, he joined the English club Tottenham Hotspur, where he scored 24 goals in his debut season, putting him back on top of the goal-scoring statistics.
He was instrumental in Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup victory in 1991. During his three years at the club, he was one of the most prolific attackers in the English league, scoring 67 league goals in 105 appearances.
In 1992, he left Tottenham Hotspur to join Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan. He was nearing the end of his career and had been injured. During his two-year stay with the club, he appeared in 23 games and scored nine goals. He left the company in 1994.
Following his playing career, Lineker went on to have a successful media career as a broadcaster, columnist, and host of football shows. He is currently the host of the BBC football show “Match of the Day.”
Achievements & Awards
At the 1986 World Cup, he won the FIFA Golden Boot and was the tournament’s top goalscorer with six goals.
After Wayne Rooney and Bobby Charlton, he is England’s third-highest scorer. For England, he scored 48 goals.
He was named to Pele’s ‘FIFA 100,’ a list of the “best living footballers.”
Personal History and Legacy
Michelle Cockayne, Lineker’s wife, married him in 1986. George, Harry, Tobias, and Angus are the couple’s sons. In 2006, the couple divorced.
He married Welsh model Danielle Bux on September 2, 2009. On January 13, 2016, the marriage came to an end. They don’t have any kids.
Estimated Net worth
He has also worked as a football anchor for NBC, Al Jazeera, and BT Sport, and is said to be worth $31.5 million.