Refugee who lived with Gary Lineker praises ‘defender of humanity’ following TV return
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A refugee hosted by Gary Lineker in 2020 has praised the sports broadcaster following his return to Match of the Day after suspension.
On 7 March, Lineker posted a video of Home Secretary Suella Braverman detailing a strategy to tackle the migrant crisis and said that the proposed plan of retention and deportation was 'beyond awful'.
"This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s," Lineker tweeted.
As he returned to air this weekend, Lineker posted a picture of himself at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, telling his followers: "Ah the joys of being allowed to stick to football."
Ah the joys of being allowed to stick to football. pic.twitter.com/E2JME7teDs— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 18, 2023
Following his reinstatement, 35-year-old law student Rasheed Baluch recalled his experience staying at the broadcaster's home in Surrey in 2020 after he fled the Pakistan province of Balochistan.
"Gary has come forward to defend humanity," Rasheed told The Mirror.
"It should be a point of pride for the British public.
"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."
Baluch described Lineker as 'friendly and open-minded' and noted he leads a 'simple life'.
"He loved to listen to me when I shared my story about the situation in my country and the plight of my people," 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."
During his stay with Lineker back in 2020, Baluch also penned a letter to him and his family.
"During my stay in your beautiful home, I never felt that I am a stranger or a guest, but it seemed to me as if I am a member of your family," he wrote.
"I will never forget your hospitality, love and company that you and your lovely, respectful children gave to me."
Lineker, who has four sons - George, Harry, Angus and Tobias - shared the letter with his followers, writing: "Thanks Rasheed for giving such a different perspective on life to both myself and my boys."