Gary Lineker reveals 'heartbreaking fears' as son battled with leukaemia

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker has opened up about the traumatic moment his son was given just one night to live by doctors.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has recalled the heartbreaking moment his baby son, George, now 27, was given one night to live while battling with acute myeloid leukaemia.

The 57-year-old presenter spoke intimately to BLANK podcast revealing the devastating moment doctors warned his son might not make it through the night, after suffering from a rare form of blood cancer.

He said: ‘I could cope with it when he was ill as well as I could remember up coping whilst I thought there was hope. But there was a couple of times when they told us, they said, "Honestly, we’ve got to warn you that we will be quite surprised if he makes it through the night".’

The ex-England and Tottenham striker reveals despite the difficult time he was never depressed by the situation.

However, he and his former-wife Michelle were overcome with utter fear as to whether George would survive.

Gary Linker


Gary added: ‘It was a different feeling. It wasn’t like a depressing feeling, it was more a… it was a fear and I used to have these awful dreams occasionally, of us carrying a little white coffin.’

He continued: ‘I don’t know why but at the same time whilst he was still alive, whilst he was being treated, whilst there was hope I was alright.

‘While it was always ups and downs and difficult times, there was always hope. We didn’t lose him, so I don’t feel we were dreadfully unfortunate, I think we were unbelievably fortunate, because the odds of him making it were pretty low and he did.’

‘There were other people in there that weren’t as fortunate as us, that kids didn’t make it.’

The ex-footballer has previously opened up about his son's cancer battle in his appearance on the Channel 4 campaign Stand Up To Cancer.

Read more: What it’s really like when your child is diagnosed with cancer

Gary's eldest child George was treated in Great Ormond Street in London, and thankfully survived this terrible illness.

Since then, Gary has supported cancer charities such as CLIC Sargent and Leukaemia Busters.

Gary shares four children with his ex-wife Michelle, his eldest George, Harry, Tobias and Angus.

Sibelle Mehmet
Junior Digital Writer

Sibelle Mehmet is a Junior Digital Writer at She joined the team in April 2019 and was her first job since completing a MA in Magazine Journalism at City, the University of London in the summer of 2019. Sibelle previously interned at a number of national titles including OK!, Heat, Closer, Mother & Baby, and The Times Newspaper magazine. She's written extensively about the latest celebrity, showbiz, and royal news.