"The crisis has really brought out the best in people"

By Gary Lineker - TV presenter, footballer and father

Last updated 1 June 2023

I have always been part of a team, whether that’s playing football, or in the BBC’s presenting squad. I am always around people. Just last month I presented a live TV show in front of an audience of hundreds of people. 

I could never have imagined that life was going to change so dramatically overnight. I don't think any of us could.

The word ‘unprecedented’ is being bandied around all the time at the moment, but that’s exactly what this is. We’re not just missing the physical side of sport, or the fan enjoyment.

We are missing out on the social side of going to games, of the post-match analysis over a pint.  There are no friendly kickabouts in the park for now.

The Kindness Manifesto has launched

In testing times like this, you get to see what people are really made of. There’s always going to be a tiny few who break the rules and endanger the rest of us, but on the whole it’s heartening to see the current crisis has really brought out the best in people.

The British Red Cross has launched its Kindness Manifesto. It’s a simple statement with a simple message, but one that can’t be repeated enough. This is a scary time for everyone, but you are not powerless and you are not alone. Though the virus might keep us apart, Kindness will keep us together.

We are all in the same boat right now and kindness is the only currency that matters.

It’s important to stay busy

It has been remarkable to watch our country pulling together.  We need the NHS more than ever. It's incredible to see the nation Clapping for Carers on Thursday nights. It brought a tear to my eye and I'm proud to be a part of this small gesture.

I am in self-isolation with my son George. He hasn’t been feeling great for the last week, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to have developed into anything serious. We are still taking all the right precautions though which means that like most of the country we are stuck at home and trying make the most of our days.

Alan (Shearer), Ian (Wright) and I are going to try and keep working together, albeit remotely.  No idea what that will look like for now, but it’s important to stay busy and stay connected with other people.  Hopefully we can carry on doing our podcasts. The plan is for these to air in Saturday night’s Match of the Day slot.

Not surprisingly, footballers with unexpected time on their hands are already finding ways to stay competitive. The Keepie Uppie Challenge with loo rolls might not make it in to the rescheduled Olympics in 2021, but it’s a novel way to keep training.  Not sure I’m willing to waste a loo roll right now though!

We are all in this together

We need to keep looking for silver linings where we can. Thinking about how to help ourselves and how we can help other people (from a safe distance), over 28,000 have already signed up to volunteer for the British Red Cross. 

They will be phoning older people, delivering groceries and medicines and making sure the most vulnerable members of our society are not falling through the cracks. Please take heed of the Red Cross advice.

Stay home, stay safe.  We really are all in this together.

This article was first published in The Mirror.

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