Then they will be off to the racy Ocean Beach Club in Ibiza, one of Wayne’s latest business ventures and the place where Danielle first fell for his laddish charms, on a night out last year (the next morning she cancelled her homeward flight and moved in with him). It all sounds totally ‘buzzing’ to coin a superlative this silver-haired Peter Pan (who has just released his first house music record) often uses to describe his crazy capers on Twitter.
I’ve definitely found the one,’ he swooned (though Danielle’s mother Jillian Sadhu later assured me that, much as she likes her daughter’s new boyfriend, talk of wedding bells is premature). Then came his bombshell revelation: if and when they do marry, Gary is unlikely to attend, because Wayne and his BBC presenter big brother have barely spoken to one another for six years.
According to Wayne, the rift dates back to 2008, when Gary, then recently divorced from his first wife, Michelle, and planning to wed lingerie model Danielle BUX, took his bride-to-be to meet his sibling for the first time, in Ibiza. Wayne was invited to the sumptuous, £300,000 wedding ceremony on Italy’s Mali coast, but his then girlfriend, Ana Tanaka (yes, another young model), was left off the guest-list even though they had been together for 18 months.
Born 18 months apart, into a solid family of market traders, both had trials with the local football team, Leicester City, and by all accounts Wayne was by far the more gifted player. Yet they remained fiercely loyal to one another, and when Wayne hit upon the wheeze of cashing in his famous brother’s fame by opening an eponymous bar in the Canaries, Gary gladly lent him the money.
He later spoke of his admiration for Wayne, with his ‘ability to turn a penny into tuppence’, and watched with pride as his brother’s ‘little empire’ of raucous watering-holes spread to Mediterranean resorts. Commendably, he even stood by Wayne in 2006, when he and two associates were jailed for 18 months, for smuggling suitcases filled with foreign banknotes into Britain, in an audacious £220,000 tax fraud.
In 2012, his fanciful attempt to set up a social media site to rival Facebook ended in a costly failure for the investors he hoped to turn into millionaires. He says he lost more than £1 million on the business start-up himself, and that same year he was declared bankrupt for failing to pay the £60,000 he owed to his Mayfair tax consultants, Milestone International.
Though he drives a posh Mercedes SL sports car in Ibiza, and lives during the winter in a smart Essex apartment, he has sold off his Tenerife bar because of a decline in tourism at the resort. Since his Twitter feed is filled with gushing plugs for the swish restaurants, hotels and health spas he frequents, this fuels the suspicion that freebies help facilitate his glitzy lifestyle.
Of course, he isn’t the first person to have milked his vicarious celebrity for all it’s worth; and, despite his flaws, he is regarded by friends as an engaging, amusing and highly generous man who never fails to do his bit for charity. However, it is difficult to envisage the gentrified Mr and Mrs Gary Linker OBE raving it up with zany Wayne and his ‘buzzing’ new girl at an Ibiza pool party this summer.
Wayne, 17 months younger than his brother, appeared to have more natural flair for the game, although he could not match Gary's extraordinary dedication. That determination helped Gary, 45, become one of the most successful footballers of his generation, scoring 48 goals for England.
Today, as Wayne begins a two-a-half-year prison sentence, the extent to which their fortunes have diverged could hardly be greater. The chain of bars, called Linker's, eventually proved to be Wayne's undoing, as he set up an elaborate conspiracy to avoid paying tax on much of the cash takings.
The difference between the brothers was obvious at an early age: Wayne could easily lose his temper while Gary remained cool and in control. The brothers' father Barry was the third generation of his family to run a greengrocer stall on Leicester market and a non-league footballer himself.
As children, Wayne and Gary were both Leicester City season-ticket holders and played youth football together. Gary was picked to play for Leicester, but his brother gave up football at 16 and began working on the market stall.
Gary quickly became a world-class player, winning the Golden Boot, as top scorer in the 1986 World Cup, and playing 80 times for England. Gary has maintained a “Mr Nice Guy” image, having never been booked in his footballing career and having married his childhood sweetheart Michelle, with whom he has four children.
Wayne, meanwhile, had a playboy image and reportedly forgot Michelle's name in his speech at his brother's wedding. It was not until Gary paid for him to open a bar in the resort of Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, in 1988, that Wayne escaped the market stall.
He was really a good guy, worked with everybody from John Ford to Abbott and Costello. The Packers?” “No,” he said, “USC, Michigan, Penn State.” There was no TV.
In the late ‘50s I was up for a part in a Gary Cooper western, “The Hanging Tree”. I didn’t get it, but I did get a table next to Coop in the commissary one lunch break.
“Nope.” He allowed as how, “A .45 makes a mighty big hole in your boot.” I’m glad I eavesdropped on Gary Cooper. A few years ago Bass and I tooled up the road apiece from Santa Fe to Durango for a western film fest.
Wayne was a major star by then, but Ford’s tirade wrecked him. Barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, potato salad.
Maureen O’Hara sat next to a stunned Wayne. She was stuffing her face when Wayne, in a stupor, started talking to himself.
I’ve been in this business a long time. I think I should have gotten a fair shake, which I don’t think I got.” Maureen O’Hara stopped chewing, swallowed, and spoke, “Well, Duke, if you feel that way about it, why don’t you go to the old man and tell him so?” Wayne just sat there shaking his head.
When Phoebe first meets Gary, she is running around with a police badge that she has found, using it to defend nature (she threatens to call for backup on one woman for putting her cigarette out on a tree unless she apologizes to the tree). Gary is one of her victims, who she promptly orders to park his car off the pavement, stating that she is a cop.
When she learns that Gary is actually a cop, he starts asking her trick questions to prove her occupation, leaving her with no choice but to drop the badge and run away. In The One With Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss “, Monica becomes envious of their outrageous sexually.
Monica, who is seemingly incapable of keeping secrets, reveals it to Phoebe after Gary leaves. Phoebe is shocked because she feels that it is too soon in their relationship, so she asks Chandler (who is famous among his friends for his major commitment issues) to try and put Gary off.
Chandler visits Gary at the police station and makes a weak attempt at inflicting his own fears about commitment onto him. Gary, as a cop, works it all out after Phoebe tells him that she cannot find any apartments for them to live in.
Phoebe is slightly intimidated by the interrogation, but Gary manages to win her round by telling her how much he likes her and how he wants her to be happy. They only live together for a single day, however, because Gary pokes his gun out of the bedroom window and shoots a bird just because it is chirping too loudly.