Gary Lineker on the Road to FA Cup Glory, BBC1 - TV review: A surprisingly spine-tingling documentary about the competition's relevance

Lineker infiltrated team talks like an uncool dad crashing a music festival

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The Independent Culture

Do people still care about the FA Cup? Gary Lineker does, loads. So did everyone he spoke to in Gary Lineker on the Road to FA Cup Glory, "where milkmen dream about playing against millionaires".

You quickly understood that we wouldn't hear much said against the tournament as the Match of the Day head boy interviewed his pals. We got a roll call of cup-day heroes: Owen, Gerrard, Giggs, Mourinho. There was a fraternal, dressing-room atmosphere throughout as they discussed their love of the old favourite.

Away from the top flight, Lineker met the young pretenders. With his designer togs, Barbados tan and weird goatee, you feared at times it could get embarrassing as he infiltrated team talks like an uncool dad crashing a music festival. But then again, he is cooler than your average dad in footballer terms. And when he popped round to the Cambridge United lads' house in the run-up to their big game, you felt glad there was a fatherly influence.

"I tried my hardest and I just wasn't good enough I don't think," said Ryan Donaldson, a Newcastle reject explaining why he hadn't made football's top rung. You hoped off camera that Lineker would give him a hug. He probably did, when, as only happens in the cup, Cambridge held Manchester United to a draw.

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