Former football star and TV presenter Gary Lineker announced some devastating news over the weekend, which was met with an outpouring of support by caring fans.
The TV star made the sad announcement that his father, Barry Lineker, had passed away, after a stay in the Leicester Royal Infirmary hospital.
Gary revealed the news on his Twitter account, which has over 6.4million followers. The Match of The Day presenter paid tribute to his "wonderful father", stating that he "will miss him greatly".
He wrote, "Deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of my dad. A special person, a popular man & a wonderful father. Will miss him greatly. RIP Dad."
Following his heartbreaking revelation, Gary was met with a wave of kind messages and support from fans keen to offer their condolences.
Legendary horse racing jockey AP McCoy wrote, "Condolences and thoughts with your family", while Gary's ex-wife Danielle Bux also said, "The proudest Dad in Britain, and such a character. He'll be missed. RIP xxx".
One fan also made reference to Barry's support of Gary's former illustrious football career, saying, "Behind every great player is a supportive parent. Deepest condolences to you and your family.", while another kind fan wrote, "Sincere condolences to you all. You will always have your memories of him to keep his spirit alive. Hugs and love to you all xxx"
(Gary and Barry Lineker in 2013)
The 56-year-old made sure to thank fans for their well-wishes too, replying to many of the first few comments on his Twitter post.
He tweeted once again to thank them, while also paying tribute to the medical staff at the hospital in which his father died. He wrote, "Thank you so much for all the lovely messages. Also a big thank you to the doctors & nurses at Leicester Royal infirmary. You're marvellous."
Gary's father was well known in Leicester, where he grew up, and ran the family fruit and vegetable stall at the market in the city centre for over 40 years.
Reportedly, Gary also helped his father out on the stall when he was playing for Leicester City, before reaching the heights of fame in his football career.
One Twitter user even recalled meeting Barry at his market stall years ago. They wrote, "So sorry to hear about your sad news x remember your dad (& mum) from the market and lifts down at the Lodge x such sad news hugs to all".
In the wake of the news, Gary also changed the header picture on his Twitter profile to a sweet smiling photo of him and his father.
Our thoughts are with Gary and his family at this tough time.
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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