Refugee who stayed at Gary Lineker’s house speaks of his ‘humanity’
The refugee who stayed at Gary Lineker’s house has hailed him a “caring and loving defender of humanity”.
Student Rasheed Baluch lifted the lid on living at Lineker’s £4.5 million Surrey home a day after the Match of the Day star hosted an FA Cup special having been reinstated by the BBC.
The presenter had his suspension for a tweet likening the language of Tory government asylum seeker policy with Nazi Germany.
Desperate Rasheed, 35, was given free bed and board for 20 days while studying a law course.
Sharing his story for the first time, the activist said: “He has been given the right of freedom, right of thought and expression. So if the institutions react so negatively against the statement of Gary, it is undemocratic and unfair.
“Gary has come forward to defend humanity. It should be a point of pride for the public.”
Mr Baluch, who is from the mountainous Balochistan region which straddles Pakistan and Iran, told the Sunday Mirror the presenter is “friendly and open-minded” and loved hearing his story and listened “attentively”.
He added: “Although Gary is a star, he leads a simple life. He is never proud of his status. He is a very sympathetic, caring and human-loving man. He gave me an Oyster card which contained £100 top-up for my transport to university.”
Lineker responded on Twitter, writing: “Ah Rasheed, how sweet of you.”
Mr Baluch was welcomed to the presenter’s Surrey property through Refugees At Home, before the former lawyer went on to stay with the charity’s co-founder Sara Nathan and then later found a place on his own.
He also said during the interview that the backlash against Lineker was “unfair”.
Meanwhile, Lineker cancelled his appearance on Match of the Day Live on Sunday due to illness.
Former England player and presenter Alex Scott hosted coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Brighton & Hove Albion and Grimsby Town on BBC One.