The goalkeeper is set to appear on BBC quiz show Pointless Celebrities tonight, alongside fellow former professional footballers Paul Parker, John Hartson and Rachel Brown-Finnis. Shilton, who remains England men’s most capped footballer, is a passionate Brexiteer, and has talked at length on the abuse he received following the referendum result. He has spoken about how he wanted the UK to “take back control”, which has earned him scorn from people who backed the Remain campaign.
One of those was his ex-England teammate Lineker, the England men’s team’s third all-time scorer.
Shilton – who also played for Lineker’s favourite team Leicester City – had praised Tory politician Jacob Rees-Mogg, describing the MP as someone who understood how to put his thoughts across in a “calculated manner”.
His comments came shortly after Lineker attended a People’s Vote rally, forcing the footballer to describe then Prime Minister as “frightfully boring”.
Taking to Twitter after Mrs May survived a no confidence vote: “Have been so impressed with @Jacob_Rees_Mogg in the last few days. He really knows what he is talking about and puts it across in a calm and calculated manner!”
But Remainer Lineker was having none of it, and poured cold water on the ex-the former player’s claims.
Lineker responded: “What’s that old saying? You should never see a tweet from your heroes?”
His comments sparked fury, particularly with BBC Test Mast Special presenter Jonathan Agnew who accused Lineker of breaking the BBC’s rules on expressing political opinions.
He replied: “Gary. You are the face of BBC Sport.
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But another of Shilton’s former teammates also got involved in the Brexit debate, provoking Lineker further.
Chris Waddle said he wanted the UK to leave with no deal, arguing “we will be fine”.
Lineker shot back that Waddle should “stick to football”, to which critics told the BBC presenter: “That’s rich coming from you.”
At the time, a BBC spokesman told MailOnline: “Gary is not involved in any news or political output for the BBC and as such any expression of his personal political views does not affect the BBC’s impartiality.”
In 2019, LeicesterLive reported that Shilton said he was “a Brit at heart”.
Reflecting on politics, he added: “I have always followed politics. You have to have a view and I am not ashamed of mine. You do get idiots on Twitter but I have a thick skin.
“Being a goalkeeper you are used to it. I used to get much worse from behind the goal all the time.”
Pointless Celebrities airs on BBC One from 7pm.