gary-lineker

Gary Lineker sparks controversy with photo of eldest son on special occasion

The broadcaster whipped some fans into a frenzy

Ainhoa Barcelona

Gary Lineker publicly celebrated his son George's 29th birthday over the weekend, but who knew his Instagram photo would cause such an uproar? The former footballer shared a snap of George and FC Barcelona sports star Lionel Messi, who he referred to as the 'GOAT' or Greatest Of All Time, in his caption.

MORE: Gary Lineker shares very rare photo of his four lookalike sons

"One of these is my kid who's 29 today, the other is a goat. Happy birthday @georgelineker," wrote Gary.

George was quick to reply to his dad's post, writing, "I'm the goat, cheers Gaz," while others insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo was in fact the GOAT. Piers Morgan cheekily questioned: "That's not Ronaldo?" while another fan quipped: "I can't see Ronaldo in this picture Gary."

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Another insisted, "Ronaldo is the goat!" while one follower sympathised with Gary: "OMG, I bet you wish now you hadn't written that, some peeps."

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Others, instead, wished George a happy birthday, commenting on how young the entrepreneur looked for his age, with some even claiming he is a "mini Lineker".

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Lionel Messi and Gary Lineker's son George

Gary and his ex-wife Michelle Cockayne are the proud parents of four sons – George and his younger brothers Harry, Tobias and Angus. The couple married in 1986 but split 20 years later with Michelle citing "unreasonable behaviour".

Their eldest son George suffered a rare form of leukaemia as a baby and was treated at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. His father regularly supports cancer charities including CLIC Sargent and Leukaemia Busters.

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Gary shares four sons with ex-wife Michelle Cockayne

Following his split, Gary started dating model Danielle Bux after the pair were set up on a blind date in 2007. The couple tied the knot in a wedding exclusively covered by HELLO! in 2009 in Italy. However, in 2016, Gary and Danielle parted ways as they reportedly had different ideas about starting a family together.

The pair have remained on great terms, however. Speaking to The Mirror in 2019, Gary explained: "Danielle and I are best mates, we still speak three times a day, we text all the time. When she comes to London she stays with me, and when I go to LA I see her."

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