Who is Wayne Lineker to Gary Lineker and what caused the rift between the two?

Their previously close relationship was reportedly strained

Gary Lineker attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

The question of who Wayne Lineker is to Gary Lineker may have been occupying many people’s thoughts since Wayne became a familiar face on Celebs Go Dating. With his distinctive surname, it’s all too easy for people to wonder whether the two are related. As some fans might know already, Wayne is Match of the Day host Gary’s younger brother. 

Born just two years apart, the brothers grew up together in Leicester. Though it's thought that they have now grown close once more, Wayne and Gary have been plagued by rumours of a so-called rift in the past.

But why did the brothers fall out?

What caused the rift between Wayne and Gary Lineker?

Wayne and Gary are believed to have grown closer once more after being driven apart in previous years. Speaking to The Sun in 2015, Wayne shed some light on the devastating situation with his brother, claiming that his relationship with Gary suffered a “breakdown” after the footballing legend started dating Danielle Bux in 2008.

He said: “In my opinion Danielle cost me my relationship with my brother. Sadly Gary is no longer a part of my life.”

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Wayne went on to discuss his confusion when their normally close relationship began to change and regular phone calls and visits stopped.

“Within a year we had spent less time talking than we ever had before” he stated. “It was like an itch I couldn’t scratch and I couldn’t understand why our contact had fizzled out.”

Gary Lineker & Wife Danielle Bux , Attend The First Day Of Royal Ascot Horserace Meeting

(Image credit: Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images )

Despite his love for his brother, Wayne also confessed that his relationship with Danielle, whom Gary married in 2009, started off awkwardly.

“They came to Ibiza in August 2008 and it was really awkward. I didn’t spark with Danielle and our relationship was cold” he recalled, adding that: “On the first day Gary was lying by the pool and said that she wasn’t very well and that she was in the room. She stayed in there all day.

“The next day 12 of us went out for dinner and Danielle sat one end and I sat another.

“We never spoke all night. Afterwards we went to Linekers Bar and again we never spoke. That for me was the start of things.

“I didn’t understand why it was like that. I didn’t want to upset Gary so I didn’t quiz him about it. That was the last time I spoke to her” he revealed.

Do Wayne Lineker and Gary Lineker talk?

The Match of the Day host went on to marry Danielle in a stunning ceremony in Italy in 2009 and they later divorced in 2016. 

A year later in 2017, it was suggested that the brothers’ rift had begun to heal. "We talk now. We are not how we were years and years ago, but we speak more now," Wayne reportedly told The Sunday Mirror. 

Last year in November, Wayne also posted a heartfelt tribute to Gary on his birthday. Taking to Instagram, he shared a picture of the brothers together, beaming at the camera.

‘Happy Birthday 60th big bro ..I will always be proud of you. Love you lots 🧡 #family #brothers’ he wrote.