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I was plagued with nightmares while my newborn son was battling leukemia, reveals Gary Lineker

FOOTIE legend Gary Lineker opened his heart about his son George’s battle with leukemia when he was just eight weeks old.

He remembered being told to himself and his doctors then Mrs. Michelle that the kid was so ill that he wouldn’t make it through the night.

I was plagued with nightmares while my son George was battling leukemia, reveals Gary Lineker

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I was plagued with nightmares while my son George was battling leukemia, reveals Gary LinekerPhoto credit: Getty

The ordeal is traumatizing the Match of the Day presenter so much was he plagued by nightmares of carrying a tiny white coffin.

but brave George defeated the disease after grueling chemotherapy during a seven-month hospital stay and is now a healthy 30-year-old.

Gary, 61, experienced the ordeal in an interview with Kelly Cates and Geoff Thomas for The Athletic’s The Moment podcast.

He said: “I wanted it to be me who had it. I didn’t want it to be my little kid.

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“I used to have this recurring dream of carrying a tiny little white coffin.

“It’s awful. It woke me up so many times.”

George was just a few weeks old when his parents took him to a doctor after discovering a mole on his head in November 1991.

Former Spurs and England ace Gary said: “It was like a little spot or bump on his forehead.

“They thought they would do a small biopsy just in case. Then they said we have another check-in in just under two weeks.

“Meanwhile, more of these spots started appearing all over his head, making him look like a golf ball.

“We went back for a checkup and they said it was this skin condition.

“But in the days before that, he started to feel very uncomfortable. He was moaning and had these little lumps all over his body.

“You took a look and I will never forget it. They took off his diapers and just looked at each other and said, ‘Oh, I’m really sorry to tell you, this is something much more serious.’

“They said they needed to do more testing but it looks like leukemia.

“It was such a difficult time because we were told it was going to be incredibly difficult for him to get through the night.

‘RIGHT GRIM’

“It was pretty grim. I will never forget that first night. We were taken to Great Ormond Street and that’s where all these tests were done.

“At the end of the night they gave us some sort of assessment of the prospects and they said it wasn’t good. They came to us with a survival rate of between 10% and 20%.

“The doctors were very direct about his overall chances. Even on the nights they said he might not make it, they prepared us for the worst. But I’ve always appreciated her honesty.”

Gary, who has three other sons, was at Tottenham Hotspur at the time and shared how football gave him a brief respite from everyday worries.

He said: “Football was the only time I could almost get it out of my head.

“I had three weeks without training and then I was like, ‘Right, Terry [Venables] May I come in?’ because I needed it for myself.

“It’s a little escape from a full day in the infirmary.

“It definitely changed me as a person. I was so driven by what I was doing, as you have to be in football, and I was almost a little cold in a lot of ways.

“I think it gave me more empathy than I probably had before.

“It gave me appreciation and perspective for people who aren’t making things the way I had them in my life. I think it changed me in that sense, which I think is probably a good thing.

Gary relived the ordeal in an interview with Kelly Cates and Geoff Thomas for The Athletic's The Moment podcast

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Gary relived the ordeal in an interview with Kelly Cates and Geoff Thomas for The Athletic’s The Moment podcastPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Gary opened his heart in the first in a series of interviews with footballers who have endured life-changing moments of adversity.

Presenter Geoff Thomas, 57, faced his own personal struggle when the former Crystal Palace ace was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003 after retiring from playing.

mom yelled:
I'm a gardening professional - my tip will weed WITHOUT effort & costs nothing

He had three months to live but conquered the disease and has spent the last twenty years raising money for research.

Future guests of the series include Middlesbrough defender Sol Bamba, 37, who talks about his return to playing after defeating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18371220/gary-lineker-nightmares-son-george-cancer/ I was plagued with nightmares while my newborn son was battling leukemia, reveals Gary Lineker

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