Gary Lineker broke down after call about Alan Hansen before hospital discharge

Alan Hansen
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Gary Lineker broke down in tears after a distressing call about Alan Hansen’s health.

Liverpool legend Hansen, 69, was admitted to hospital in early June. His family and the club released statements confirming that the former Match of the Day pundit had fallen seriously ill.

Lineker, a long-time colleague of the Scotsman on the BBC, was deeply affected by the news. He displayed his support for Hansen on television while covering the Euro 2024 fixture between Italy and Albania, saying: "We're thinking of you big man, we're with you and we're hoping and we're praying for you."

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Hansen has since been discharged from hospital. And speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, Lineker revealed he was left inconsolable after receiving a call saying his friend was expected to pass away.

Lineker said: "I just want to start with some very very good news. I got a text message yesterday from Janet Hansen, Alan's wife, saying he had been discharged from hospital. What an amazing piece of news.

"I got a call two weeks ago when Alan was really struggling from somebody who I won't name asking me to come on and talk about the fact that it's about to be announced that Alan's left us.

"I genuinely broke down and an hour later people said 'hang on a minute, that's not quite the case'. He's pulled through now and it's fantastic. Amazing news. Hope you're listening, Al. It's great to have you back with us."

Gary Lineker speaking during BBC Sport's coverage of Euro 2024
Gary Lineker "broke down" over his friend's health -Credit:BBC Sport

Hansen signed for Liverpool from Partick Thistle in 1977. Throughout his glittering career at Anfield, he won three European Cups, eight league titles, two FA Cups and three League Cups across 620 matches.

He left the Reds to launch his media career, which saw him become a BBC regular and a Match of the Day icon. Having provided analysis for 16 FA Cup finals, six World Cups, five European Championships, and even an Olympic Games, Hansen decided to retire from punditry in 2014 after the World Cup final.

At the time he addressed his exit from Match of the Day by saying: "I'm retiring from Match of the Day at the end of the season. I will have been there for 22 years and will be 59, so it's the right time for me."