Euro 2020 presenter Gary Lineker explains how his son George nearly died of cancer

Gary Lineker is one of the greatest English footballers of all time and the host of BBC Euro 2020 coverage – but did you know his son George was seriously ill with cancer as a baby?

The former striker, now 60, is a father of four sons – George, Harry, Tobias and Angus. He shares them with his first wife Michelle.

But Gary admitted he feared losing his firstborn after George suffered from a rare form of leukemia.

Euro 2020 host Gary Lineker raised four sons with his first wife Michelle (Credit:

What happened to Georges?

Gary’s eldest son George, now 29, spent seven months in Great Ormond Street in 1992.

He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia as a baby after his parents noticed a lump on his head.

George reflected to the Mirror in 2015: “I feel lucky. I escaped leukemia and am the luckiest boy around.

Read more: How old is Gary Lineker and why did he quit his role as Champions League presenter?

He also said medical appointments did not end after the peak of his battle as a young child.

George explained, “When I came out of the five-year stage I had tests once a year, but now I go every two years just to make sure everything is okay.”

What did Gary Lineker say about his son George’s recovery from cancer?

Euro 2020 presenter Gary has become a prominent supporter of cancer charities CLIC Sargent, Leukemia Busters and Cancer Research UK.

I had this recurring nightmare of carrying this little white coffin.

He also encouraged people to donate blood.

Additionally, Gary and George were the subject of a short film for Stand Up To Cancer in 2018.

Gary Lineker with his ex-wife Michelle and baby George in 1992 (YouTube credit)

Gary’s fears for his son

In the movie Stand Up To Cancer, Gary admitted that doctors told him George might not be able to do it.

Gary recalls, “It was devastating. The doctors have been very honest with us. They gave us a 10-20% chance of survival. It was hard, really, really hard.

Read more: Football’s Darkest Secret: Gary Lineker pays tribute to survivors of horrific abuse

“Those first few days were traumatic,” Gary continued.

“We have been told at least twice that the chances of him spending the night are slim.”

“I had this recurring nightmare of carrying this little white coffin. And waking up with a cold sweat every time I had it.

“Fortunately, I never had to go through this scenario.”


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