Crystie Tyler

Written by Crystie Tyler

Modified & Updated: 27 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Gary Lineker is a prominent figure in the world of football, known for his outstanding skills as a player and his engaging personality as a television presenter. With a career spanning over two decades, Lineker has left an indelible mark on the sport. From his prolific goal-scoring record to his role as a respected pundit, Lineker has cemented his status as one of the greatest football personalities of all time.

But there’s more to Lineker than what meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into 20 lesser-known facts about this football icon. From his early life and upbringing to his post-retirement ventures, we will explore the different facets of Lineker’s life. So, buckle up and get ready to uncover some intriguing tidbits about Gary Lineker that you may not have known before!

Key Takeaways:

  • Gary Lineker, a legendary footballer, won the Golden Boot at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and is the only English player to have won the Golden Shoe. He’s also a beloved TV host and advocate for fair play in football.
  • Lineker, known for his wit and philanthropy, has had a remarkable career in football and television. He’s won prestigious awards, founded a production company, and actively supports charitable causes.
Table of Contents

Gary Lineker began his football career at Leicester City.

Starting his professional career at his hometown club, Leicester City, Lineker quickly made a name for himself as a talented striker.

He won the Golden Boot at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Lineker’s incredible goal-scoring performance during the 1986 FIFA World Cup earned him the prestigious Golden Boot, making him one of the top scorers of the tournament.

Lineker played for Barcelona from 1986 to 1989.

After his impressive World Cup performance, Lineker secured a move to Barcelona, where he showcased his skills alongside renowned players such as Diego Maradona.

He is the only English player to have won the Golden Shoe.

Lineker’s exceptional goal-scoring ability also earned him the Golden Shoe award in the 1985-1986 season, making him the only English player to achieve this feat.

Lineker retired from international football with 48 goals in 80 appearances.

Having represented England at various international tournaments, Lineker cemented his legacy as one of the greatest goal scorers for the national team.

He hosted the popular football show “Match of the Day” for over 20 years.

Lineker’s charismatic and knowledgeable presence made him a beloved host of “Match of the Day,” where he provided insightful analysis and commentary on Premier League matches.

Lineker is an advocate for charity work.

He actively supports various charitable causes, including his role as a patron of the charity “Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre.

He famously said, “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

This tongue-in-cheek comment made during the 1990 FIFA World Cup has become one of Lineker’s most recognizable quotes.

Lineker appeared in advertisements for Walkers Crisps.

His association with the famous snack brand led to a highly successful and humorous advertising campaign, solidifying his status as a household name in the UK.

He was awarded an OBE in 1992.

In recognition of his contributions to football and broadcasting, Lineker was honored with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1992.

Lineker has been a vocal supporter of promoting fair play in football.

He has consistently advocated for fair and ethical behavior both on and off the pitch, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship in the game.

He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Lineker’s incredible career and achievements earned him a well-deserved place in the prestigious English Football Hall of Fame.

Lineker co-hosted the sports quiz show “They Think It’s All Over.”

His wit and humor were on full display as he co-hosted this popular sports quiz show, entertaining viewers with his quick thinking and playful banter.

He has been married twice.

Lineker’s first marriage was to Michelle Cockayne, with whom he has four sons. He later married Danielle Bux, although the couple later divorced.

Lineker has worked as a pundit for major football tournaments.

With his extensive knowledge and experience in the game, Lineker has provided expert analysis and commentary during major football tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1986.

Lineker’s outstanding performances on the pitch earned him the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1986.

Lineker founded the production company Goalhanger Films.

Driven by his passion for storytelling, Lineker co-founded Goalhanger Films, which has produced a range of sports-related documentaries and television programs.

He has written several books.

Lineker has authored several books, including his autobiography “Gary Lineker: Strikingly Different” and children’s book “Gary Lineker’s Football Heroes.”

Lineker is known for his philanthropy.

He has donated a significant portion of his earnings to charitable causes and has actively participated in charity events to make a positive impact on society.

He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 National Television Awards.

In recognition of his remarkable career in television, Lineker received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Television Awards in 2020.


In conclusion, Gary Lineker is a football legend who has made a significant impact both on and off the field. From his remarkable goal-scoring record to his successful broadcasting career, Lineker has established himself as one of the most respected figures in the sport.

His philanthropic endeavors and commitment to social causes further highlight his admirable character. Whether it’s his advocacy for equality, his charitable contributions, or his witty and engaging commentary, Lineker continues to inspire and make a positive difference in the world.

With his vast knowledge, passion for the game, and genuine personality, Gary Lineker has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of football and beyond.


1. What is Gary Lineker’s playing career?

Gary Lineker had a successful playing career, representing clubs like Leicester City, Barcelona, and Tottenham Hotspur. He also played for the England national team, scoring 48 goals in 80 appearances.

2. How many goals did Gary Lineker score in his career?

During his professional playing career, Lineker scored a remarkable 330 goals in 567 appearances. This impressive goal-scoring record solidified his status as one of the greatest strikers of his generation.

3. What is Gary Lineker’s broadcasting career?

After retiring from football, Lineker embarked on a successful broadcasting career. He is best known for hosting the popular sports show “Match of the Day” and providing insightful commentary during major football tournaments like the FIFA World Cup.

4. What social causes does Gary Lineker support?

Lineker is a vocal advocate for various social causes, including equality and justice. He actively supports initiatives aimed at combating poverty, raising awareness about mental health, and promoting inclusivity in sports.

5. Is Gary Lineker involved in philanthropy?

Yes, Lineker is actively involved in philanthropic work. He has been a patron of several charities, including the NSPCC and the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. Lineker has also donated a significant portion of his earnings to charitable causes.

Gary Lineker's incredible journey from Leicester City to Barcelona FC and beyond is truly inspiring. His passion for football shines through his remarkable achievements, including winning the Golden Boot and being inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. Lineker's wit and charm also made him a beloved figure on the BBC, where he hosted "Match of the Day" for over two decades. Discover more fascinating facts about the beautiful game, the iconic broadcaster, and one of Europe's most successful clubs by exploring our other captivating articles.

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