Gary Lineker, 58, has opened up about the attack on his 25-year-old son Harry, who was in Sierra Leone filming a World Cup qualifier segment for their podcast Behind Closed Doors on Sunday. Speaking to co-host Danny Baker, the Match of the Day host said his son, who normally produces the podcast, was “terrified”. He said: “You know my Harry, who is obviously our producer on our podcast is not here. “Well, he’s been in Africa filming in Sierra Leone, he’s been there a few days doing a bit of work around the FIFA match between Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“Liberia won the first leg 3-1 and then it was played at Sierra Leone and they were there filming behind the scenes, in the dressing rooms, with all the fans.
“Well, my Harry nearly lost his life – it was a bit of a scary moment.”
The Match of The Day host went on to say there were riots with people throwing rocks on the pitch during Sierra Leone’s defeat to Liberia.
Gary explained Sierra Leone needed to score once more to go through on away goals but missed a penalty in the crucial last minute of the group phase of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The ex-Leicester striker said his son went into the tunnel but up to 60 fans followed him.
Gary said: “Harry was with the camera guy and a fixer and (after) the mass invasion they got split, and Harry was on his own and he’s running and he thinks ‘I’ll take cover in the tunnel’.
“So he gets into the tunnel and then all the fans come in – there’s 50 or 60 of them and he gets attacked.
“They were ripping his clothes off, they’ve taken his phone and everything out of his pockets – he only had his fags, being a silly smoker, typical Harry, and he was terrified – genuinely terrified.”
The England legend continued: “He thought he saw a blade and thought he was going to get knifed.
“There was an armed guard with a shield and he was shielding people off so he (Harry) dived behind the shield and he said he was there for quite a while and this guy saved him thankfully and got him into a room.
“I learned about that last night and spent half the night awake – he’s alright, he’s on his way home. It was the last day filming, he’s fine – I don’t want to be a drama queen.”
The ex Spurs ace concluded: “It just shows you the fragility of your children – and I just suddenly thought to myself, God, if that call had been slightly different.
”He’s alright – he didn’t have his phone, so he FaceTimed me off his laptop when he eventually got back to his hotel and said, ‘Dad I’m alright, it terrified me, but I’m OK’.”
Harry – a football producer – is the son from Gary’s first marriage with Michelle Cockayne.
The former couple are also parents to sons George, 27, Tobias, 23, and Angus, 22.