Beckham and Dench help to launch Captain Tom fundraising drive

Ben Makori
·2-min read

By Ben Makori

LONDON (Reuters) - The family of Britain's Captain Tom Moore, the World War Two veteran who lifted a nation's spirits during the pandemic, joined forces with David Beckham and Judi Dench to kick off a long weekend of fundraising events on Friday.

Moore, who made headlines around the world by raising nearly 40 million pounds ($56 million) for the National Health Service by walking around his garden with the help of a frame, died in February.

To mark the impact he had on the country, his family have called on celebrities and volunteers to come up with a challenge around the number 100 and complete it over the April 30 to May 3 Bank Holiday long weekend.

Former England captain David Beckham will complete 100 keepy-uppies with a football, Olympic champion Jess Ennis-Hill aims to complete 100 pogo jumps, England test cricket captain Joe Root will hit a cricket ball 100 times and the actress Judi Dench plans to eat 100 chocolates.

Moore's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore joined others at the Lord's cricket ground in London to launch the event.

"It is just a few months since he died, but this is so powerful because here we are in his legacy, the lasting legacy of hope he gave to us and to everybody," she said. "He would have been one hundred and one today.

"And he thought he would be here and we thought he would be here and he thought he would come and ring the bell at Lord's."

With his catchphrase "Tomorrow will be a good day", Moore struck a chord with locked-down Britain and millions around the world. His death drew condolences from Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Joe Biden's White House.

Johnson said on Friday it was brilliant to see the nation take part in the challenge, which will raise funds for the charity sector.

($1 = 0.7188 pounds)

(Writing by Kate Holton. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)