Gary Lineker paid an emotional tribute to his father Barry after announcing he had passed away on Monday. The Match of the Day host, 56, took to Twitter to reveal the heartbreaking news, describing his dad as a "special" and "wonderful" person. He wrote: "Deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of my dad. A special person, a popular man & a wonderful father. Will miss him greatly. RIP Dad."
Fans and friends of the former footballer rushed to share their condolences, with one posting: "Very sorry to hear that; sympathies to you and your family." Another said: "What a proud Dad he must have been Gary. Sorry for your loss." A short while later, Gary told his followers: "Thank you so much for all the lovely messages. Also a big thank you to the doctors & nurses at Leicester Royal infirmary. You're marvellous."
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Gary's younger brother Wayne went on to pay tribute to their father. Alongside a throwback picture, he shared: "Terribly sad to lose today my very special dad to cancer/pneumonia I loved him dearly & I will miss him so much #RIPdad ❤ #bigbadbacardibarry." He later added: "Too much love to take. Thank you everyone for your condolences. They all mean so much. I will answer all in time ❤ #RIPdad." Gary's ex-wife Danielle Bux also tweeted: "The proudest Dad in Britain, and such a character. He'll be missed. RIP xxx".
The former England footballer's father used to run a fruit and veg stall at Leicester Market. In his column for The Express in 2013, Gary wrote: "I had a very happy upbringing. Dad worked long hours but that provided me and my brother Wayne with a comfortable childhood. I think my dad is quite proud of what I've done with my life, and I know he enjoyed my football career." He continued: "When you become a father I think you naturally follow the pattern laid down by your parents and Dad was good fun but also relatively strict."