Gary Lineker To Welcome Asylum Seeker Into His Home
AFormer footballer and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has revealed he will be welcoming a refugee to come and stay with him in his home.
The move is part of a scheme run by the Refugees at Home charity. He will need to be interviewed before being allocated one of 2,500 refugees and asylum seekers who are in need of temporary accommodation.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Gary explained that he is looking forward to helping out.
He said: "I have had so much connection with refugees over the last couple of years.
"I have met scores of young refugees through football schemes and they are genuinely lovely kids and they appreciate any help they can get.
"I'm sure it will be fine. I have been thinking of doing something like that for a while.
"My kids are all grown up so I've got plenty of room so if I can help on a temporary basis then I'm more than happy to do so. Why not?
"I'm used to young men in my house, I have four lads in their 20s and believe you me, I'm sure they will behave better than my lot do. Bloody messy buggers, boys, aren't they?"
Gary believes that he is giving something back to people that came to the country, pointing out that immigrants do some of the most important jobs in the UK.
He said: "They have given so much to this country and still continue to do so in terms of the jobs they do, which we have witnessed during the pandemic in the NHS, carers and key workers."
Everyone has seen the images of people attempting to enter the UK, highlighting their willingness to risk their lives for the chance of a better future, and Gary is no exception.
More Like ThisMore Like This
He originally began campaigning in support of refugees following the death of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015.
He added: "It was seeing the images of what was happening when they were going in the boats and landing in Greece, seeing families dying, it just struck me as so intolerably sad.
"I just thought we were going anti them with front pages with all this anti-refugee propaganda and I thought, put yourself in their shoes.
"Imagine if it was London that was being bombed and we had to flee somewhere and nobody would accept you and nobody would want us and everyone would hate you."
Having been vocal about his beliefs regarding refugees online, he remains unfazed by the inevitable abuse he receives and insisted he's not trying to 'preach' to anyone.
Gary explained: "It's about being on the right side yourself. It's difficult to change people's minds, primarily because we have become so tribal about whatever the issue is and I think it is perhaps exacerbated by social media.
"I don't want to preach to people and tell them what to do. All you can really do is concentrate on what you believe is right and go from there.
"You have to remember people don't know you and I never get [abuse] in the street. People are lovely.
"You get a few trolls or people who genuinely detest you, you are always going to get that in the public eye. That doesn't bother me."
"Yes, I have had more heat than I have ever had in my life but I have also probably had more love from people."
He declined to offer a message to Home Secretary Priti Patel, although - the newspaper reports - pointed out that her family were immigrants too.
However, he said he is impressed by the conscience shown by the UK's youth, telling Mirror Online: "We have got a young generation that seem to be full of empathy and social conscience. That's great. Their maturity has been extraordinary."
Featured Image Credit: PA