Gary Lineker son cancer

Euro 2020 presenter Gary Lineker on how close son George came to dying from cancer

Eldest son suffered a rare form of leukaemia when he was a baby

Gary Lineker is one of greatest ever English footballers 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 dad to four sons – George, Harry, Tobias and Angus. He shares them with his first wife Michelle.

But Gary has admitted he feared he would lose his first born after George was afflicted with a rare form of leukaemia.

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

What happened to George?

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

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

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

Read more: How old is Gary Lineker and why did he step down as Champions League presenter?

He also said medical appointments did not end following the height 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 couple of years just to make sure everything is fine.”

What has Gary Lineker said about son George’s cancer recovery?

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

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

He has also encouraged people to give blood.

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

Gary Lineker son cancer
Gary Lineker with former wife Michelle and baby George in 1992 (Credit: YouTube)

Gary’s fears for his son

In the Stand Up To Cancer film, Gary admitted medics told him that George may not make it.

Gary recalled: “It was devastating. The doctors were very honest with us. They gave us between a 10 and 20% chance of survival. It was tough, really, really tough.”

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

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

“We were told on at least two occasions that the chances of him making it through the night were slim.”

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“I had this recurring nightmare of carrying this small white coffin. And waking up in cold sweats every time I had it.

“Thankfully I never had to live that scenario.”

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