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 holds England’s record for goals scored in FIFA World Cup finals, with ten.
Lineker began his football career at Leicester City. Despite failing to score in his first ten games, he finished as the First Division’s joint top goalscorer in 1984–85. He then moved to League Champions Everton where he developed as 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, earning 80 caps and scoring 48 goals over an 8-year international career, 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).
Even though he enjoyed a 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.
After his retirement from football he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. He moved into broadcasting, working at the BBC, firstly 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.