Born in Leicester, he became probably the foremost English striker of his generation. Lineker's intelligence enabled him to cope better than his contemporaries whilst playing in continental Europe, as well as make a smooth transition into a role as pundit and sports broadcaster.
He began his career at his hometown club of Leicester City in 1976 and broke into Leicester first-team squad in 1978. He rose to fame with Everton (1985-86), for whom he scored 30 goals in 41 games, before signing with Barcelona, with whom he won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1989. He returned to England later that year, playing for three seasons at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 67 in 105 games and winning the F.A. Cup, before ending his career with an injury plagued spell in the Japanese league with Nagoya Grampus Eight.
He first played for England's national team against Scotland in 1984, winning the "Golden Boot" at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and reaching the semi-finals in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He retired from international football with 80 caps and 48 goals, one fewer than Bobby Charlton's England record.
He was English footballer of the year in 1986 and despite his long career was never cautioned by a referee for foul play.
Following retirement he commenced a career in the media, replacing Des Lynam on the BBC's flagship football television programme Match of the Day and as a panellist on sports panel game show They Think It's All Over in 1999.
His popularity has enabled him to appear in a light hearted series of commercials, playing a comical role which sends up his reputation as a nice guy.
Lineker 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.