Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer fight back tears as they send live TV message to Alan Hansen after update

Lineker fought back tears as he sent a message to his former colleague
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

Gary Lineker fought back tears on live TV as he sent a message to his former Match of the Day colleague Alan Hansen.

The presenter was fronting the BBC's coverage of the Euro 2024 match between Italy and Albania on Saturday evening when he took a moment to discuss the Liverpool legend who remains seriously ill in hospital.

Hansen, who became a beloved figure at Anfield before carving out a hugely successful second career as a pundit, was confirmed to be in a serious condition by Liverpool last week. The club announced that it was in contact with the 69-year-old's family and would provide concerned fans with updates when they received them.

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The Scottish legend worked on Match of the Day for 22 years before retiring at the end of the 2013/14 season. He spent much of that time working alongside Lineker, and the presenter, together with pundit Alan Shearer, paid a heartfelt tribute to his former colleague ahead of Saturday night's match.

"Before we move on, it’s been a tough week for everyone associated with Match of the Day,” said Lineker. “The news that Alan Hansen was seriously ill in hospital shocked us all, didn’t it Alan?”

“Oh absolutely,” said Shearer. “We’re great friends with Al, we know his character, we know how tough he is."

Visibly emotional, the former Newcastle striker added: "So, we're thinking of you big man. We're with you, we're hoping and we're praying for you.

Lineker continued: "We certainly are. Everyone at Match of the Day sends love and thoughts to Janet, Lucy and Adam and the grandchildren. To use an analogy of Alan's favourite pasttime, golf, you may be three down with four to play, but if anyone can come back from it, it's Alan.

"I've never known a more competitive person in my life - we're all with you, Big Al."

It comes after Hansen's former teammate Graeme Souness gave an update on his condition, saying: "He is one of life's good guys and we're all saying a prayer for him. I spoke to his wife, Janet, a few days ago and you can imagine the state he's in, but I'm telling you, he's one of the best guys you could meet, a proper human being in every sense."

Earlier in the programme, Lineker, Shearer and fellow pundits Micah Richards and Cesc Fabregas also paid tribute to former Arsenal and Cardiff striker Kevin Campbell, who has died aged 54, as well as 26-year-old Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, whose death was also announced this morning.

After sharing memories of both men, Lineker said simply: "It has been a terrible day".