Gary Lineker was a true goalscoring hero for both club and country – he scored 48 goals in just 80 appearances in an England shirt and remains the only English player to win the FIFA Golden Boot, following his six goals in the Mexico World Cup of 1986. "Gary is simply the best finisher I've ever seen," said former England manager Bobby Robson, and it is hard to disagree. He may have been lethal in front of goal but he was always the consummate gentleman – never picking up so much as a yellow card in his entire career.
It all began at Leicester City, where Lineker kicked off his professional career. He helped the Foxes to win promotion to Division One in 1983 and in the 1984/85 season he finished the season as Division One's joint top-scorer alongside Kerry Dixon on 24 goals. His outstanding performances won him his first England cap.
A move to Everton in 1985 saw him continue his prowess in front of goal and in his first season on Merseyside Lineker netted 38 goals in 52 games – finishing the season in second place and, again, as the league's top scorer.
After his outstanding displays at the 1986 World Cup, clubs in Europe started to sit up and take notice. It wasn’t long before the forward left Goodison Park to don the colours of FC Barcelona. His move to the Nou Camp did not disappoint – Lineker scored 21 goals in 41 games for the Catalan club and he helped them to win the Copa del Rey in 1988 and the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year.
In 1989 Lineker was to return to England – to wear the shirt of Tottenham Hotspur. In his first season at the club he was their top scorer with 24 goals and in three seasons for the north London club, he scored 67 goals and won the FA Cup in 1991.
Lineker's professional footballing career ended at Nagoya Grampus Eight, a Japanese club where he spent two seasons before retiring in 1994. Lineker retired with not only a haul of goals to his name but he was also named PFA Player of the Year in 1986, he came third in FIFA's World Player of the Year in 1990 and was also awarded the honour of receiving FIFA's Fair Play Award in 1990 for the sportsmanship that spanned an illustrious 16 year career.