Gary Lineker says he suffered racist abuse during football days due to "darkish skin" 5 months ago

Gary Lineker says he suffered racist abuse during football days due to "darkish skin"

The pundit spoke of his experience earlier this week.

Gary Lineker claims he suffered racist abuse during his playing days from fellow footballers due to his "darkish skin".

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The Match of the Day presenter and former England international was speaking candidly on Monday's High Performance podcast with Jake Humphrey when he revealed that the had experienced bullying during his school days and even after he became a professional.

The 61-year-old believes "life would have been very different" for him had he not been good at sport from a young age.

But even so, Lineker said he was still treated somewhat "marginally", with his stature and tanned complexion regularly commented on.

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"I was this tiny geeky kid, with darkish skin and I had pretty much racist abuse", the former Leicester and Barcelona man told the podcast, adding that "I’m as English [heritage-wise] as they come".

Lineker said he was subject to this kind of treatment "all the time."

He went on to confess that "even in professional football I had that a couple of times". Lineker said that he "wouldn’t ever name any names".

Now a legendary pundit and presenter, Lineker pondered whether the abuse helped mould him into the man he is today, as he has become outspoken against racism.

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He was one of the leading sports figures to join the four-day social media blackout carried out by many clubs, athletes and organisations in an attempt to tackle discrimination last April.