Children deliver letters to Lineker’s home as impartiality row rumbles on
Children have delivered letters to Gary Lineker’s home, with one expressing support for his stance on refugees.
Two boys posted letters through the 62-year-old former England footballer’s door in front of a pack of reporters and photographers awaiting comment after he was told to “step back” from his Match Of The Day hosting duties in an impartiality row.
Tristan, eight, who did not want to give his surname, turned up with his mother with a letter which said “thank you so much” to the star.
His mother said: “My son said, ‘Thank you so much. Thank you for defending the refugees’.”
Another boy could later be seen delivering a letter but his parents stayed in the car so reporters did not speak to him.
The daughter of a Jewish refugee, who came to the UK from Hungary in the 1930s, delivered a letter to the star’s home on Saturday evening – thanking him for his stance on immigration policy.
Susie Courtalt, 75, said she wanted to thank Mr Lineker for “speaking up for all the people who can’t voice an opinion”.
She told the PA news agency: “I used to live in Barnes and have come up from Brighton to see a play, so I thought I would come and put a letter through the door.
“I just feel he is speaking up for all the people who can’t voice an opinion, including British people.
“My father was very fortunate to leave Hungary in the 1930s where the language was becoming like it is here. My father was 18 and my uncle was 20.
“For the Government, he (Lineker) is someone they want to destroy.”
Lineker has previously taken refugees into his home, including a 26-year-old man from Turkey who was caught up in a military coup and escaped 18 months of imprisonment.
Last October, Lineker said the man endured “hell” in the UK’s asylum system.
He previously offered his Surrey home to a refugee from the Balochistan province of Pakistan.
The Linekers received a Pret delivery early on Saturday morning and one of his sons told reporters his father had not yet woken up.
There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 7, 2023
The response of locals in Barnes, south-west London, to the presence of reporters has been mixed.
Some locals said “leave him alone” while others were more positive – but none expressed views on the BBC controversy.
Some people could be seen pointing at the pack of reporters and photographers from a nearby road and park.
Lineker left his home late on Saturday morning but did not answer questions.
His son Harry later said he had gone to watch the Leicester City match.
On Thursday, before he was told to step back from Match Of The Day, Lineker was more bullish, saying “no” when asked if he feared suspension over his tweets.