TOM'S TRIUMPH I’m a big fan of the Queen… I’d love to meet her, says Captain Tom after knighthood petition passes 800,000
Mike Ridley Jonathan Reilly
16 Apr 2020
CAPTAIN Tom Moore’s astonishing NHS fundraiser hit £16 million last night — as the nation applauded our brave medics for a fourth week.
World War Two hero Tom, 99, completed 100 laps of his garden on a walking frame, then vowed to carry on.
PM Boris Johnson, recovering from the virus, rang to tell him: “You are an inspiration.”
Prince William wrote to Tom and made an undisclosed donation.
Downing Street even hinted at a knighthood, saying: “The Prime Minister will be looking at ways to recognise Tom and his efforts.”
Tom said: “I’d be amazed to have such an honour and meet our absolutely marvellous Queen. It’s unbelievable that it could happen.
Holding up The Sun, he added: “I’m a huge fan of everything Her Majesty has done for this country.
“I don’t think I’m a global phenomenon at all — just a grandad doing some laps of his garden.”
Wiping away tears, he added: “It’s out of this world. I never dreamt I’d be involved in such an occasion. This is for all the people finding it difficult at this moment.
“You’ve all been very brave. It’s difficult to be penned up in such a small space for such a long time. Good for you.
“Remember we will get through it. It might take time but at the end of the day we will all be OK. The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”
Tom went on: “I am going to keep walking because I know that I have the incredible British public behind me every step of the way.”
His efforts are enough to provide NHS heroes with more than 114million pairs of protective gloves or five million hospital gowns.
Ellie Orton, of NHS Charities Together, said: “We are astounded. Tom’s contribution will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of staff, volunteers and patients.
“If it was up to us we’d knight him tomorrow. Thank you Tom.”
More than 800,000 have signed an online petition calling for “Sir Tom”. Tom, who turns 100 on April 30, only planned to raise £1,000.
By yesterday morning he had £12.5million in pledges — £500 for each of his 2,500 steps on the 80ft loop of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
Tom wore the three medals he earned for fighting the Japanese in Burma, and soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment formed a guard of honour as he completed his last lap at 8.30am.
He beamed: “It is a fantastic sum of money it’s unbelievable that people could be so kind.
“We’re in such a strange time but I try to think about positives — the stories I read of people helping each other, communities coming together, neighbours being kind.
“My nephew Adam is a doctor and I couldn’t be prouder to clap for him and the other workers.”
Tom’s favourite singer Michael Ball sang You’ll Never Walk Alone on BBC Breakfast and told him: “It’s an extraordinary achievement.”
Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, 103, sent Tom a signed letter saying: “What a wonderful and astonishing achievement. Can you tell me how you do it!!”
Vera Lynn has lent her support to Tom