Gary Lineker has spoken out about the devastating moment his son was given one night left to live when he battled leukaemia as a baby. The Match of the Day presenter spoke about the heartbreaking time on BLANK podcast with Jon Daly and Giles Pale-Phillips, telling them: "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'." Luckily, George pulled through, but that didn't stop Gary face the worst fears during the dark period.
Gary Lineker spoke about his son's devastating leukaemia battle as a baby
He said: "It was a difficult 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." The former footballer added that it was hope that kept him going. "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." He added: "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."
Gary with George on the red carpet
During his illness, George was treated in Great Ormond Street in London, and Gary has continued to support children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent, along with other charities including Leukaemia Busters and Cancer Research UK. Gary shares George – his eldest child – along with children Harry, Tobias and Angus with his ex-wife Michelle. Gary then went on to marry Danielle Bux, who he divorced in 2016, but have remained close.
Gary said at the time: "Thank you for all your kind words. @DanielleBux and I had many wonderful years together. We remain very close and the greatest of friends." Since then, the pair have continued their united front, with Gary's son George even defending Danielle when rumours of hostility emerged. Alongside a photograph of one such article, George tweeted: "This is very untrue. Why do papers lie? We all get on very well with @DanielleBux & it doesn't help at a hard time."
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