Sport has paid tribute to Second World War veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore – the man who inspired the nation in lockdown by raising millions for the NHS – after he died aged 100.
Captain Sir Tom contracted coronavirus and was receiving treatment in hospital for pneumonia.
He became a national treasure and a household name after raising more than £32m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden with his zimmer frame.
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore)
In a statement, his daughters Hannah and Lucy said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Captain Sir Tom Moore.
“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”
The England football team’s manager, Gareth Southgate, said he was “especially struck by Captain Sir Tom’s dedication to going above and beyond” as he paid tribute to the army veteran.
We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of @captaintommoore.
We were honoured to welcome Captain Sir Tom as the leader of our #Lionhearts last year and know that what he achieved will continue to inspire so many.
All of our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/0MHiXvj4Ip
— England (@England)
Southgate added: “Captain Sir Tom Moore demonstrated the very best of England during an extremely difficult time for the nation.
“It is no exaggeration to say he helped bring the country together in a way that very few ever could, and he leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten.”
Former England, Tottenham and Leicester striker Gary Lineker described Captain Sir Tom as a “national hero” in an emotional post on his social media account.
How terribly sad: Captain Sir Tom Moore has passed away. What an extraordinary life, with the most wonderful finale over the last year. A National treasure and a hero. RIP.
— Gary Lineker ? (@GaryLineker)
“How terribly sad: Captain Sir Tom Moore has passed away,” the post read. “What an extraordinary life, with the most wonderful finale over the last year. A National treasure and a hero. RIP.”
Team McLaren paid their respects to Captain Sir Tom, who was a big fan of Formula 1, in a post on their official Twitter account.
Everybody at McLaren is deeply saddened to hear the news of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s passing.
His remarkable resilience, courage and optimism will continue to inspire us all. Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time. ? pic.twitter.com/Uh3yENeKle
— McLaren (@McLarenF1)
With sadness one of the coolest and most inspiring characters has passed away. A man who showed the world what you can do no matter the age or difficulty. It was a pleasure to share some good laughs with you, I’ll remember them.
To an inspiration. Rest in peace Captain Sir Tom. pic.twitter.com/zVK2uG46LM
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris)
Lando Norris, a driver for McLaren, said Captain Sir Tom was “one of the coolest and most inspiring characters” he had met and he would remember the “good laughs” they shared together.
England Cricket said Captain Sir Tom was “an inspiration to us all”, in a post on Twitter, while England Rugby described him as” a true hero and a great example to all of us”.
RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore.
An inspiration to us all ❤️ https://t.co/zbzOow8b86
— England Cricket (@englandcricket)
RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore.
A true hero and a great example to all of us.
On behalf of the rugby community, thank-you for inspiring us ? https://t.co/S3nEIkezv0
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby)
Premier League clubs Tottenham and Everton both said Captain Sir Tom was an “inspiration” in posts on social media.
England and Spurs captain Harry Kane said he was saddened to hear about the passing of Captain Sir Tom – “an inspirational man who did so much for others”.
Very sad to hear this news as he was an inspirational man who did so much for others. My thoughts are with his family and friends. https://t.co/S3pW4DxjIp
— Harry Kane (@HKane)
Championship side Millwall announced there would be a minute’s applause before Tuesday’s league match against Norwich to mark Captain Sir Tom’s passing.
A minute’s applause will be observed ahead of tonight’s fixture in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who passed away today.
Rest In Peace ?#Millwall pic.twitter.com/jY077N6JIM
— Millwall FC ? (@MillwallFC)
Thomas Moore was born on 30 April 1920 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
He attended grammar school and got an apprenticeship in civil engineering before war broke out in 1939 when he was 19.
The teenager enlisted in the 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and was stationed hundreds of miles away from his home in Cornwall.
He was selected for officer training in 1940 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1941.
In October that year he became a member of the Royal Armoured Corps and was transferred to the 9th Battalion in India, where he spent time in both Mumbai and Kolkata and took part in the Battle of Ramree Island.
His military career continued to progress during the war, with promotions to war-lieutenant in 1942 and captain in 1944.
He was posted to Arakan in Western Myanmar and later to Sumatra after Japan surrendered.
On his return to the UK he worked as an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington, Dorset.
After his first marriage, Captain Sir Tom married his wife Pamela in January 1968.
They went on to have two daughters Lucy and Hannah, who they raised in Welney, Norfolk.
In later life the couple retired to the Costa del Sol in Spain, but had to return to the UK when Pamela was diagnosed with dementia and moved to a nursing home. She died in 2006.
Two years later he moved in with his daughter Hannah, her husband and two of his grandchildren in Bedfordshire.
Despite his impressive military credentials, it was not until the final year of his life that he became a household name.
Described as a “national hero” and an “inspiration to us all”, he first made headlines on April 6 2020, a fortnight after the first UK lockdown.
Aged 99 he pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise £1,000 for the NHS.
But within a few days, he had captured the hearts of the nation and far succeeded his original target, getting to £20m two days before his birthday.
On April 30 he celebrated the milestone birthday by completing his final lap at home in Bedfordshire having raised more than £30m for NHS Charities Together.
His efforts were rewarded with a military flypast, the title of honorary colonel, messages from the Queen, prime minister and thousands of birthday cards from well-wishers all over the country.
He said at the time: “When we started off with this exercise, we didn’t anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money. It’s really amazing.”
Captain Sir Tom compared the coronavirus pandemic to wartime.
“We’re a little bit like having a war at the moment,” he said.
“But the doctors and the nurses, they’re all on the front line, and all of us behind, we’ve got to supply them and keep them going with everything that they need, so that they can do their jobs even better than they’re doing now.”
Soon after he completed his walk, he featured on a cover version of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball, which topped the charts and made him the oldest person in the UK to ever have a number one single.
In July, he was knighted by the Queen at a special outdoor, socially distant ceremony at Windsor Castle.