LONDON: England football legend Gary Lineker and his wife Michelle divorced on Tuesday after 20 years of marriage, the decree nisi (a non-absolute ruling) granted on the grounds of his “unreasonable behaviour”.
A judge in London granted the divorce to Lineker’s wife on the grounds that the behaviour of England’s second-greatest goalscorer had caused her “stress and anxiety”, according to documents laid before the court.
Lineker, 45, and his wife, 40, were childhood sweethearts who married in July 1986, when he was already an England star and she was a beauty therapist. They have four sons.
Nobody was present during the proceedings, which lasted just 70 seconds.
Lineker will move out of the matrimonial home, a mansion in Sunningdale, west of London, where his wife and sons will remain.
Now a BBC television sports anchor, Lineker said in a written statement that he did not intend to defend the petition and agreed to pay costs.
The pair announced their separation earlier this year.
Lineker played for Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Nagoya Grampus Eight and captained England during his goal-laden career in which he was never cautioned. He retired in 1994. His glittering international career included 80 caps and 48 goals. – AFP