Coronavirus: 99-year-old war veteran raises over £10m for NHS by walking around his garden

‘It seems almost like fairy land to think that we started off at £1,000 to a sum of money that’s not believable, is it?’ says Captain Tom Moore

Kate Ng
Wednesday 15 April 2020 17:56
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99-year-old army veteran Captain Tom Moore says it is 'completely out of this world' after finding out he has raised over £5m for NHS charities

A 99-year-old veteran has raised more than £9m for the NHS as part of a fundraising effort where he aims to walk a hundred lengths of his back garden before he turns 100 years old later this month.

Captain Tom Moore, from Keighley in Yorkshire, had originally set out to raise £1,000 but donations flooded in on Tuesday, topping £1m by 9am.

The war veteran, who served in India and Burma, aimed to walk 10 laps around his garden a day to reach a hundred lengths by his 100th birthday on 30 April. He is now ahead of schedule and hopes to finish the challenge by Thursday.

He set himself the challenge to raise money for the NHS amid the coronavirus crisis, which has infected nearly 100,000 people in the UK, with more than 12,000 deaths. The pandemic has put immense pressure on the NHS to treat patients and save lives.

The fundraising page for Mr Moore passed the £10m mark at around 11pm on Wednesday, after his achievements were praised by the health secretary at the government’s daily press briefing.

In his opening address, Matt Hancock said: "I want to pay a special tribute today to Captain Tom Moore.

"Captain Tom, you're an inspiration to us all, and we thank you."

The military veteran wrote on Twitter: "10 MILLION POUND! Virtutis Fortuna Comes", a reference to the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in which he served.

Mr Moore has received praise and recognition for his fundraising efforts from a number of famous figures, including England rugby player Jamie George who said he was “truly inspired” by the captain. US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, said it was “amazing what people can do”.

Actor Bonnie Langford also paid tribute to Mr Moore, saying in a video: “You are amazing. I always thought I had loads of energy, until I saw you. You are fantastic, the work you are doing for the NHS is completely inspirational, as are they. We all want to thank them and thank you for showing how much we all care.”

Speaking to the BBC about the fundraiser, Mr Moore said: “It seems almost like fairy land to think that we started off at 1,000 to a sum of money that’s not believable, is it?”

He added: “I never imagined anything like this, but I’m so pleased and I hope it just goes on because the services I got from all these doctors and nurses was absolutely outstanding. And they’re such nice people too.”

Mr Moore’s fundraiser is still open for donations.

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