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Gary Lineker has apologised after he was seen without a face covering in a Marks and Spencer shop.
The 59 year old former footballer blamed his old age and said he felt “awful and embarrassed” after he was photographed without a face mask on while browsing the desserts at his local M&S in Barnes, south London, on Sunday.
The Match of the Day presenter, who recently hared a rare picture with his four sons, tweeted an apology on Monday 19 October.
It read: “In my old age, I went into a store and forgot to put my mask on.
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“Was wondering why people were giving me daggers. Realised after a couple of minutes and hastily put it on.
“Felt awful and embarrassed. Apologies to those present.”
Gary’s tweet received ore than 23,000 likes and fans replied to his tweet to share their reactions.
One wrote: “I did exactly the same thing the other day. Luckily just as I entered the shop a woman was leaving and she looked at me with such disgust that I realised quite quickly.”
While another added: “What are you apologising for ! just get on with it and put it on next time ! Jesus do we have to start asking for forgiveness ffs”.
And a third said: “Am an A&E nurse and wear them all shift I still forget to at times it’s adjusting to the new norm at present people like to cause drama for no reason I forgot taking my son to school and I got snarled with comments like you should no better!”
While some fans were understanding, others criticised Gary.
One wrote: “Embarrassed? That's a strange emotion to feel about the prospect of potentially killing several ppl. I can imagine the future anecdote: 'Ah yes, I remember the time I went into a shop with a deadly virus which killed several people & their families… it was so embarrassing!’”
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Another sarcastically quipped: “Of course you did Gary. Did you realise when you saw the camera by any chance.”
While a third scathed: “GL’s tweet is nothing more than a cushion for whats to come”.
Gary has shared several photos of himself wearing a mask since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.
Earlier this year, as he queued for supplies he posted a selfie on Instagram and wrote in the caption: “2nd time out of the house in 3 weeks to get some food supplies. I’m taking no chances. Great to see people respecting the social distancing and everyone good natured.”
Then, as football made a return, Gary posted an image of himself outside a football ground and wrote in the caption: “First time at a football ground for 4 months. I’m smiling under the mask.”
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