Gary Linker is now releasing a new fashion with the next one as he talks about how he has always been a fashion icon.
After swapping the football pitch for a matchday studio, Gary Lineker has become a fashion icon in his own right and is almost as famous as punditry for his crisp shirts and stylish glasses.
However, his style is not always so sharp. The 62-year-old is still being teased by friends about his fashion mishaps during his time as a footballer, and he flinches when he’s dressed as a “hell” shell to his name.
Today, he’s fronting the next new collection, but he’ll need a fair few helpers to score those fashion goals in classic Lineker style. “It was a lot of help,” he admitted. “I’m not necessarily good at putting things together. At least now it makes it easier to dress up for events. I’ve got all these pictures to remember what goes with what.
The star has been in the headlines lately for more than just his fashion choices. He was briefly suspended from the BBC before his triumphant return after his tweets criticizing the government’s asylum policy caused an uproar and a mass exodus from his supportive colleagues.
Here, we talk to Gary about his thoughts on that controversy, the one TV show you’ll never see him on, stardom and his friendship with Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds…
How do you deal with social media negativity and being in the public eye?
I’m not the type of person to worry about it. I don’t read the responses very often, which is fine considering I was reading a response a few weeks ago. I don’t worry about it – I tweet my stuff and people do what they want. I think the truth is that most people are supportive, nice, friendly and kind, but there is an extreme element, no matter what the signs are, they are very loud and they can be fooled into thinking that everyone thinks they are when it really isn’t. I walk the streets and I don’t find any sticks – people are kind.
Are you going on a reality show like I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!?
If you’ve seen me on one, you know things are wrong – this is going to be my worst nightmare.
What’s the most starstruck thing you’ve ever felt?
Meeting with Tiger Woods in the golf thing during the day. Just because you’re somehow famous yourself doesn’t mean you can’t still find your heroes. I did a photo shoot with Cindy Crawford for The Walkers 20-odd years ago and I was so excited, I don’t know why. I have met Lionel Messi many times and he is my hero.
Is there a famous person you want to meet?
Maybe Barack Obama. I have met so many amazing people. I met Nelson Mandela!
Ryan Reynolds is now the owner of Wrexham AFC. Have you met him yet?
I met him at Wrexham. I recently interviewed him before a game and we’ve been hanging out and texting. I really like it and it’s an amazing story. They got lucky and the drama that befell their team. All in all, you can see he’s into it. I was texting him the other day during their awesome game. You can see it got to him.
You will be known for your fashion on Match Of The Day. Do you have statistics?
I always have my own clothes and I always dress myself on TV. There is no wardrobe budget at BBC Sport so we all dress ourselves. There are a few guidelines though. At Match Of The Day we have to be casual, or if we do a big live game we have to wear a suit. If it’s the FA Cup final or the World Cup final, we all dress and wear the same. Sometimes it’s nice to dress up, because really, nobody works in a suit and tie these days, so it’s great to have the opportunity.
Does your TV look different than what you wear at home?
Quite different. It’s green screen for match day so we’re limited in what we wear. We can’t wear green or white, we can’t wear any pattern because it will be strobe, so basically we wear dark blue, light blue or black shirts. There are not many varieties that you can wear. Off screen I am very casual. I generally just wear jeans, a t-shirt or shirt and a jacket. It’s different from what I wear on TV.
How has your style changed since your days as a footballer?
When I look back at some old pictures and regularly ask, “What were you thinking?” I will go. But that’s what people wore back then. I’m sure even in 20 years you’ll look back at things like this and go, “I’m not sure about that one.” Things change and I think you only change with it. Most things have come round and I am very relieved at the moment. Skinny jeans have been around for ages, and now they’re all suddenly baggy and more comfortable. There’s more comfort in trousers too, and I think that’s probably part of aging too. We need a little more comfort [laughs].
Do you have fashion regrets?
Loads! My friends sometimes want a picture and send it to me and it turns out to be some real sweater. With my first husband, I made different shell suits [Michelle Cockayne] – I’ve seen them come back and they’re hell. I remember the season.  I stayed with Bobby Robson after we lost in the World Cup semi-final. We won the FIFA Fair Play Award for England and I wore this awful black and white striped outfit when we accepted the award. what was i thinking
Who is the best dressed soccer player?
Football players are very true to fashion. They are young men who make good money so they can afford to splurge a little. I admire people like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Madison. I don’t necessarily wear what they wear, but I appreciate that they are bold. Stick to what you wear and become a fashion icon, because I know you get a lot of wood in the dressing room. But even in my game, the world of TV punditry, Ian Wright dresses are very cool. He always looks good and cares a lot about his clothes. Micah Richards dresses differently than Wright, but again, he loves his fashion. I think with footballers in general, we are vain so we all care about what we look like.
You are facing the next set. What does it look like to hit a pose instead of a ball?
I never expected to become a fashion model at the great age of 62. I’ve always loved clothes, fashion and shopping (well, not the shopping part), but it’s really something different and really fun. Changed my mind a bit. One or two things I’m not sure about, like the white jeans – I’ve never really worn those but they sure look good. I will definitely beat them in Ibiza.
If you could go back and give yourself fashion advice, what would it be?
Just go with your gut, go with your instincts and wear what you like and don’t worry about what other people think. That’s the key, I think, not just in fashion, but in life in general.