Friday, January 21, 2022

Hero of the Hour 2021 – Gary Lineker OBE

In taking refugees into his own home, ex-footballer Gary Lineker not only puts his money where his mouth is, but also shows true compassion and decency

Ex-footballer turned football pundit Gary Lineker is a man who puts his money where his mouth is and today with the revelation that he is taking a second refugee into his very own home, he has yet again shown his decency and humanity.

 

Father of four and host of the BBC’s Match of the Day Lineker – in genuine contrast to the heartless harridan and immigrant hater who is now MP for Dover, Natalie Elphicke – the MailOnline revelaed is “finalising paperwork with a refugee charity at the moment and will soon take in another person from Balochistan.”

 

Speaking to Dylan Jones of British GQ in October 2020 of why he took in a refugee on a previous occasion, Lineker explained:

 

“I’ve always been a supporter of the refugee crisis… It’s a humanitarian issue that the whole world has to deal with… We can’t have everybody here, we know that, I know that, but we need to have our fair share and the world needs to have their fair share.”

 

“I first supported that a few years ago and I got criticised from the national newspapers. One of them even said I should lose my job at one point because of it and I didn’t quite understand that because I didn’t think it was a political issue. I thought it was a humanitarian issue.”

 

“I just thought: ‘How can we not have a degree of empathy towards these poor souls?’ You know, they are fleeing, like, erm, war torn countries or oppression or whatever it is. Do you think that they want leave their homes? Of course they don’t. They’re forced out. They have to travel the world.”

 

“Take for example the dinghies in the English Channel. Do you think that is what they want to do? They’re desperate and then when they arrive somewhere, they’re filled not with affection or love or anything or understanding or empathy or sympathy, but with a degree of hatred and not being wanted.”

 

“Imagine if that was the other way around. Imagine if that was in London. Suddenly we were bombed everywhere and we all had to go and we fled. It is unimaginable, I know, but it does happen to real people, fellow human beings. Imagine if we suddenly had to flee and no one wants you. How awful would that be?”

 

“That’s how it started. So, getting around to taking in a refugee myself… The strange argument I used to think was always: ‘Well, why don’t you have them in your house then?’ and I used to think: ‘Is that your problem: You think you are going to have them living in your house?’ which is clearly not the case, so in the end having had that constantly thrown at me for years, I actually started to think: ‘Well, why wouldn’t I?”

 

“My kids have all grown up now, they’re all in their twenties and, erm, and I did a little thing, I can’t remember with who, getting a bit of stick on Twitter and it was the same thing and then underneath, I don’t actually look at the notifications, only of the people that I follow or blue ticked posters, but underneath the tweet sometimes you do see a couple of tweets below.”

 

“I saw one that said: ‘Gary, you might be interested in this’ and so I clicked on it and it was a charity called Refugees at Home, so I thought: ‘What’s that?’ so I clicked on it and it offered you different things. You could have someone on a short-term basis, a permanent basis or almost like an emergency foster parent – which I thought sounds, erm, quite interesting so I clicked on that and then I went through the process.”

 

“I had my first refugee in the last few weeks and he left at the weekend. A delightful chap [named Rasheed], brilliant for my children and even they were saying what a perception.”

 

“He was from a place called Balochistan, which is actually part of Pakistan, but they don’t want you to be. He’s come here to study law, he wants to free his country, he wants to get them independent from both Pakistan and Iran. It’ll be difficult because they’ve got minerals, gold and natural gas, but it’s fascinating, a real education for my boys as well because obviously they’re privileged. They know they’re privileged, but they’re keen to hear this guy’s story. He was brilliant with them. It was a really, really positive experience and I’ll definitely do it again.”

 

Praised previously as “the sensible face of our country” by ex-MP Anna Soubry, Gary Lineker is someone who also uses his powerful voice for the good on social media and someone who refuses to work in Qatar because of their appalling human rights abuses record. Here is someone who most definitely deserves to be lauded as The Steeple Times ‘Hero of the Hour’ and today and we urge our readers to join the 8.2 million individuals already following him on Twitter.

 

The letter sent to Lineker by law student Rasheed:

Dear Garry Lineker,

 

When I was moving to your home, I was worried that you might be unfriendly and conservative but it was all reverse what I thought.

 

During my stay in your beautiful home, I never felt that I am a stranger or guest but it seemed to me as if I am a member of your family.

 

I can never forget your hospitality, love and company that you and your lovely respectful children gave to me.

 

There is a saying in Balochi language, that if you give me a glass of water, I owe you my entire life. In fact you did more.

 

Best wishes,

 

Rasheed

Refugee article and letter
A headline from ‘The Mirror’ about Lineker taking in a refugee in 2020 and the letter the ex-footballer received from that person thanking him.
Refugee tweet
The sports broadcaster responded to the letter with a typically decent tweet.
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Wonderful human being. Gary Lineker lives in Barnes where I brought my children up. They went to the Harrodian School and both have flats in Barnes now. We often see him around and about.

  2. Wonderful human being. Gary Lineker lives in Barnes where I brought my children up. They went to the Harrodian School and both have flats in Barnes now. We often see Mr Lineker around and about.
    Reply

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