Gary Lineker has revealed why he is inviting a refugee to come and live in his £4 million five-bedroom Surrey mansion.
In just a few weeks times Lineker, the BBC’s highest paid employee with a salary of £1.75 million, will welcome a migrant into his home in Barnes.
Last month, the 59-year-old former England striker was challenged by a Tory MP over virtue-signalling on Twitter and so he has put his house where his mouth is.
Despite the reservations many might have about welcoming in a total stranger, Linker said ‘it will be fine’ and that he’s well used to young men crashing about the house as he has four sons in their 20s.
In just a few weeks times Gary Lineker, the BBC’s highest paid employee with a salary of £1.75 million, will welcome a migrant into his home in Barnes (pictured)
A migrant arriving in Dover
The former England striker is partnering with charity Refugees at Home and has no idea yet who will be staying with him or where they have come from.
Linker told The Daily Mirror: ‘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?’
Lineker told the paper that he believes Britain had gained much from refugees, citing fish and chips brought by 16th century Jews from Spain and Portugal and even pointed out that St George was Turkish.
Lineker’s strident views on Twitter about Brexit have earned him the title ‘lefty luvvie,’ and he anticipates more abuse for standing up for migrants.
But he said he has no desire to lecture others and tell them what to do: ‘All you can really do is concentrate on what you believe is right and go from there.’
Linker described modern discourse as ‘toxic’ and put that down to social media, in part, saying he yearned for the days when lively debate could be enjoyed in the pub with your best mates.
Gary last month showed proof he had contacted Refugees at Home about hosting someone himself after he was challenged by a Tory MP
Lineker regularly shares his views on Twitter with an audience of 7.6million followers
Lineker, who is worth an estimated £28million and is the BBC’s highest paid sports pundit, lives in a luxurious five-bedroom home in Barnes, south west London. Pictured: Lineker’s home studio
‘We have become so tribal, it’s almost more tribal that football is.’ He told the Mirror.
‘That’s a worry so whenever I’m in a debate I try not to be nasty. I don’t understand why if someone has a different opinion you have to fall out.’
Linker has campaigned on behalf of refugees since the image of Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, who drown off Greece in 2015, was seared onto Europe’s front pages.
The recent colossal increase in migrants trying to make the crossing has focused his resolve that something must be done.
Linker told the paper: ‘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.’
He said that his political conscience had increased with age, remarking that as a young footballer he was largely oblivious to current affairs.
It is therefore heartening, Lineker said, that players such as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, 22, has thrown his hat into the social causes ring so early.
A migrant child is brought into Dover by Border Force today
Rashford led a successful campaign for the Government to keep free school meals going during the pandemic.
Lineker said he thought it was wonderful to have a younger generation so ‘full of empathy and social conscience. That’s great. Their maturity has been extraordinary.’
Refugees at Home will interview Lineker and visit his home as part of the application process for its scheme which has helped find temporary accommodation for more than 2,250 refugees and asylum seekers.