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Gary Lineker - the man who should have taken the place as record goal-scorer for England, left the game with a reputation as a nice guy, never having been booked in his whole career and had a sparkling few seasons for Spurs, in which he won his only domestic trophy.
Lineker studied at Caldecote Junior School and then City of Leicester School in Leicester, going on to represent City of Leicester Boys and the Leicester Schools side at football. He was also a keen cricketer and could have made a career in that game, but football had a stronger draw for him. He only got four O Levels when he left school.
Played with Leicester City youngsters Mick Duffy and Neil Grewcock in a local Sunday League side - Aylestone Park and he was required to help out on the family grocer's stall on Leicester market for many years when he was coming through the Leicester City ranks. Pairing up with Alan Smith and Steve Lynex in the first team, his made a name scoring freely in the Second Division. Injuries limited him to only eight game sin the top flight, as the Foxes sank back down their hole after a single campaign in Division One.
His goal-scoring brought him to the attention of Everton and he spent 13 months on Merseyside, starting when he signed June 1985 after Howard Kendall’s negotiations with Leicester City nearly broke down on a number of occasions. Everton only wanted to pay £400,000, but Leicester wanted £1.25 million, so a fee of £800,000 was agreed by tribunal. In his first season, he hit it off with Graeme Sharp and scored 40 goals and won the PFA and the Sportswriter’s PoTY trophies.
For England he came good in the 1986 World Cup, when he finished top scorer winning the Golden Boot, which brought him to the attention of Barcelona, where he joined English manager Terry Venables at the Nou Camp for 2.8 million pounds. He won a ECWC medal and scored a hat-trick in the 1987 El Classico, but after three years Venables persuaded Barcelona to allow him to come to Tottenham for just 1.1 million. Venables teamed the England captain up with the two Pauls - Gascoigne and Stewart - producing an attacking trio that scored prolifically. Their goals took Tottenham to the FA Cup Final in 1991 against Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest and while Lineker had a penalty saved, Tottenham won 2-1 after extra time and his first (and only) domestic honour was secured. His speed off the mark over short distances and an instinct to put the ball in the net made him a firm favourite, but in his last season,
Leaving Spurs at the end of the 1991-1992 season in which he opened and closed it with goals against his old club Everton, Gary moved to Japan to join Grampus Eight of Nagoya, where he signed for a two year deal worth £2 million. His move to Japan coincided with his young son George's Leukaemia diagnosis. Gary's playing days were brought to an end by a persistent toe injury in 1994 and he moved into the media, where he was a team captain on the sports panel game "They Think It's All Over" and eventually took over the lead presenter's role on BBC TV's "Match of the Day". He also became the face of BBC golf and established himself as a likeable front man for sports programmes.
In 2008, he lived in a £2.6 million five-bedroom house in Sunningdale, Surrey and having divorced his wife Michelle (nee Cockayne) in August 2006 (having married in 1996 and having four sons - George, Harry, Tobias and Angus), he was in a relationship with model Danielle Bux, who he married in 2009. His son Tobias was with the Chelsea Academy in 2009. Their marriage ended amicably in 2016.
Lineker has been the face of Walkers Crisps (the company based in his hometown) and had a flavour named after him ... Salt 'n' Lineker.
Younger brother Wayne was involved in a fraud case, which saw him jailed in 2008.
NICKNAME : LINKS;
|Leicester City||1978||-||1st January 1979 v Oldham Athletic ((Div. 2) (home) won 2-0||??||??|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||14th June 1989||£1,100,000||??||??||??|
|Nagoya Grampus Eight (Japan)||1992||Free||??||23||9|
80 full caps; 48 goals
Under-21 caps; goals
1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner
European Cup Winners Cup winners medal 1988-89 (Barcelona)
FA Cup winners medal 1990-1991 (THFC)
Second Division Championship winners medal 1979-80 (Leicester City)