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30 times Gary Lineker said what we were all thinking

Unafraid to speak his mind - and usually right

30 times Gary Lineker said what we were all thinking

Twitter has its positives - a brilliant communication and news tool - and its negatives - awful trolls, feeling like you're wasting your life reading about nothing - but one of the most interesting aspects of it is how we've been able to see a hidden side of certain individuals.

Who could have predicted James Blunt would be a comedy genius? Or that Joey Barton would quote Nietzsche?

And another great example is that of Gary Lineker. Of course we knew he was a great sportsman, and a broadcaster who had grown from a nervy start to being a calming presence on that Match of the Day sofa - a safe pair of hands, who would rarely say anything controversial.

But, when he joined Twitter, we certainly weren't expecting him to be so forthright and, well, just right with his views on a number of other issues, particularly away from sporting chat and regarding more serious matters.

He’s known for his recent plea for humanity in the face of the ongoing refugee crisis which, with depressing inevitability, led to a storm of abuse via Twitter, and a front-page slagging from that bastion of moral virtue, the Daily Star.

We fail to see how anyone could take offence from this tweet, which sparked the 'row':

And, quite rightly, he defended himself against those who attacked him.

And now the Daily Mail are on his case for supposedly not paying his taxes – they dedicated a whole two pages to calling him out. Such a great use of time, clearly. Anyway, Gary isn’t having it:

So what about the other times when Gary has been resolutely unashamed to stick his neck out for what he believes in? Well, step this way...

Speaking previously about the refugee crisis

His verdict on the EU referendum

UK politics and the 2015 General Election

The controversial closure of Fabric

FIFA corruption

Lineker has been a long-standing and outspoken critic of FIFA and, particularly Sepp Blatter. He must have been very pleased with the events of the last couple of years...

These two likeable fellows

US politics

Gun control in the US

The behaviour of the UK press (part 1)

The behaviour of the UK press (part 2)

The behaviour of the UK press (part 3)

Calling out the unacceptable behaviour of football fans

Defending his fellow professionals

Corruption in Athletics

The future of the BBC

The (alleged) behaviour of our political leaders

The treatment of Chelsea physio Dr Eva Carneiro

The terrorist attacks in Paris


And, just as controversially as all the rest, One Direction

Forget the haters Gary: keep it up, we say.

[Images: Rex]