Gary Lineker: My Grandad's War

Video clips are automatically supplied by broadcasters and distributors. is not responsible for the clip's contents.
Gary Lineker: My Grandad's War


In one sequence of this poignant film, Gary Lineker sits at an Italian café with William Earl, aged 104, who served in Italy during the Second World War at the same time as Gary’s grandfather, Stanley. Afterwards, a visibly moved Lineker reflects, “You think you’re doing all right in life, you’ve done a few things – and then you meet someone who has really made a difference.”

It’s a sobering journey of discovery for Lineker as he traces his grandfather’s experiences as the Allied troops fought through Italy in 1943 and 1944 as a member of a field ambulance, the mobile medical units that treated casualties in the thick of the fighting, but had no weapons themselves.

As well as being a tribute to the bravery of the Royal Army Medical Corps, the film gives a vivid account of the horrors of the Italian campaign, as Allied troops fought in appalling winter conditions – only to be branded “D-Day dodgers” back at home. “What he went through was truly horrific,” Lineker says of Stanley. “It’s hardly surprising he never talked about it.”


The Match of the Day presenter retraces the footsteps of his grandfather Stanley Abbs to explore a brutal but often overlooked chapter of the Second World War. Using the official war diary kept by Stanley's unit as a guide, Gary revisits the places where he was stationed and meets experts who help him piece together what happened to his grandfather during the Italian campaign. Along the way, Gary meets veterans who share first-hand testimonies to and help him understand the reality of combat in Italy.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gary Lineker
Director Sue Hills
Executive Producer Colette Flight
Producer Hannah Richards