Gary Lineker was left in tears after call about Alan Hansen prior to leaving hospital

Gary Lineker speaking during BBC Sport’s coverage of Euro 2024 (Image: BBC Sport)

Gary Lineker was reduced to tears after a distressing phone call about Alan Hansen’s poor health.

Former Match of the Day pundit Hansen, 69, was admitted to hospital earlier this month. Liverpool football club shared a statement in early June confirming that their legendary central defender was seriously ill.

Lineker, who worked with Hansen for many years on the flagship BBC show, was deeply upset by the news. Speaking while presenting Italy’s Euro 2024 clash with Albania, he said: “We’re thinking of you big man, we’re with you and we’re hoping and we’re praying for you.”

Alan Hansen has been discharged from hospital after falling seriously ill (Image: Getty)

Hansen’s family have announced he has since been discharged from hospital. And Lineker confessed on the Rest Is Football podcast that he broke down in tears initially upon receiving a phone call where he was told that his dear 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.”

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Alan Hansen was a regular on Match of the Day (Image: Alan Hansen was a regular on Match of the Day)

Hansen joined Liverpool from Partick Thistle back in 1977, His trophy-laden career saw him lift three European Cups, eight league titles, two FA Cups, and three League Cups across an extraordinary 620 appearances.

He later turned his analytical eye to television, quickly establishing himself as a regular on BBC’s Match of the Day. Hansen provided analysis for 16 FA Cup finals, six World Cups, five European Championships, and even an Olympic Games before hanging up his punditry boots in 2014 after the World Cup final.

Commenting on his departure from Match of the Day, Hansen explained: “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.”