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Coronavirus: Veteran, 99, raises £12m for NHS as he completes garden challenge

Coronavirus: Veteran, 99, raises £12m for NHS as he completes garden challenge

Published by May Norman at 6:58am 16th April 2020. (Updated at 9:08am 16th April 2020)

Former Army captain completes his NHS fundraising task

  • Captain Tom Moore has completed 100 laps of his garden to support the NHS - having now raised over £12 million.
  • The 99 year old - who grew up in Keighley - has been praised as an "inspiration to us all". 
  • The former Army captain took on the challenge to mark his 100th birthday.

A 99-year-old war veteran who has raised more than £12m for the NHS by walking around his garden has now completed his challenge.

Captain Tom Moore, who grew up in Keighley, smashed his original target to raise £1,000 by walking 100 lengths of his garden.

After reaching his target, completed with a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, he said he felt "fine", and that he was glad to be "surrounded by the right sort of people".

Donations to NHS Charities Together are continuing to pour in and can be made here.

Captain Moore - who turns 100 at the end of the month - has received multiple messages of thanks from NHS workers, sports personalities and politicians.

Speaking to Sky News during a break from his walks, Captain Moore said:

"We set out originally to raise a little bit of money by me walking up and down 100 times in reference to my 100th birthday.

"But if I've done the 100 by Friday (16 April), I'll have to continue past my birthday, which won't matter because I'll continue walking while people are contributing money to a marvellous fund for the NHS.

"With this invisible enemy that we've got, we've all got to look forward to the future when we've beaten this enemy.

"Whatever people think, we shall get better. Things will be better tomorrow."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock paid tribute to Mr Moore at the government's daily Downing Street news conference, calling him "an inspiration to us all".

After hearing the remarks, Mr Moore told Sky News:

"I was absolutely amazed that somebody like him would talk to me.

"I mean he is such an important person in our government and for him to make a reference to me is great."

After attracting the attention of media from around the world, the Second World War veteran thanked those from overseas who have got in touch with him, saying: "I'm so thankful to them that they're all helping because there is this invisible enemy that we're all suffering from."

Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Mr Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.

His daughter Hannah said her father had become a "global beacon of hope" in his fund-raising efforts.

"[It's] not exactly what we set out to do but we're now sharing this with the whole world - this is the world's story, not ours," she said.

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Meanwhile, Mr Moore's grandson Benji told Sky News:

"It's incredible. The support we've had across the country, and now America and France, its been amazing.

"I've been speechless all week and its got to a point where I genuinely have no words.

"I'm so proud of him - I've lived with him practically my whole life, I wouldn't know anything without him and it's just been incredible - I can't say anything else."

The number of donations to Mr Moore's Justgiving page has risen at break-neck speed over recent days and during his interview with Sky News, more than £50,000 was donated alone.

Donations to NHS Charities Together can be made at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs