Captain Tom Moore thanks public for ‘overwhelming’ support on 100th birthday

Captain Tom Moore has thanked the public for their "very overwhelming" generosity on his 100th birthday, telling supporters the past few weeks have put a spring in his step.

The Second World War veteran set out to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on Thursday with an initial fundraising target of £1,000.

His determination captured the public imagination and after completing 100 lengths he decided to continue.

He has since raised nearly £30 million for the NHS and has been elevated to national hero status, getting a birthday message from the Prime Minister broadcast on BBC Breakfast on Thursday.

Capt Moore said: "Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming.

"People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it's actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.

"I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence.

"However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step. I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure, but I can't keep walking forever."

Coronavirus - Thu Apr 30, 2020
Coronavirus - Thu Apr 30, 2020

Capt Moore said the donations page will close on Thursday evening, but encouraged people to continue to donate directly to NHS Charities.

He finished his message by saying: "My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I'm hoping to be back very soon with other ways in which I can help people, help others.

"Please always remember, 'Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day'."

He plans to spend his special day at home with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and her family, who he has been self-isolating with and will be joined by his daughter Lucy and her family digitally.

Capt Moore has been overwhelmed with birthday messages, including more than 140,000 cards which are being opened at a special sorting office set up at his grandson's school.

In his own birthday message to Capt Moore, Boris Johnson said: "Captain Tom, I know I speak for the whole country when I say 'We wish you a very happy 100th birthday'.

"Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation. You've created a channel to enable millions to say a heartfelt thank you to the remarkable men and women in our NHS who are doing the most astounding job.

"There is a tradition going back some years now where the Prime Minister takes a moment each day to thank someone for their service to others.

"By recognising them as a point of light. Captain Tom, that is exactly what you are – a point of light in all our lives."

Capt Moore thanked the Prime Minister for his "really outstanding" message.

A Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast of a Spitfire and a Hurricane has been organised by the RAF to mark Capt Moore's birthday, and he has been appointed as an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College.

Coronavirus - Thu Apr 30, 2020
Coronavirus - Thu Apr 30, 2020

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith made the appointment, which has been approved by the Queen, in order to inspire the next generation of soldiers.

He was also awarded the Freedom of the City of London on Thursday in recognition of his charity work.

Royal Mail has painted a postbox in Capt Moore's village NHS blue in tribute to his fundraising efforts.

The postbox, in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, has been decorated with a golden balloon.

Birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore at Bedford School
Birthday cards for Captain Tom Moore at Bedford School

Bill Chandi, who has been Marston Moretaine's postmaster for 32 years, said: "This has been an incredible time – far, far busier than even Christmas, but I am very happy to help as Captain Tom is a remarkable man, a real role model."

Both the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have written to Capt Moore to congratulate him on his achievements.

In a video released by Clarence House, Camilla said of "wonderful" Capt Moore's fundraising efforts: "That sort of thing makes you proud to be British, doesn't it."

"We tip our cap to you, Captain Tom," a special dedication video voiced over by @JNesbittTV launched to thank @captaintommoore for his valiant fund raising efforts for the #Covid19 Urgent Appeal. 💙

— NHSCharitiesTogether (@NHSCharities) April 29, 2020

He has also had a Great Western Railway (GWR) train named after him in honour of his charity achievements.