Coronavirus: 'Amazed' war hero, 99, passes £8m mark with NHS garden fundraiser

A 99-year-old war veteran who challenged himself to walk 100 lengths of his garden has now raised more than £8m for the NHS.

Capt Tom Moore, who served in India and Burma, originally set out to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together – but a burst of donations on Tuesday saw that sum pledged on average every 20 seconds.

The fundraiser had topped £1m as of 9am on Tuesday, before surpassing £4m by 11pm. On Wednesday afternoon, a further deluge of donations took the total beyond the £8m mark.

Earlier in the day his JustGiving page crashed, with more than 90,000 people trying to access it at once.

On Wednesday, Moore’s Twitter account said he had another 10 laps to do today.

Tom Moore, pictured with an armoured vehicle, has raised millions for the health service.
Tom Moore, pictured with an armoured vehicle, has raised millions for the NHS.

‘It’s like a fairy land’

Moore, originally from Keighley in Yorkshire, is aiming to walk 100 lengths of his Bedfordshire garden before he turns 100 on 30 April.

He has been praised by a range of famous faces. Piers Morgan has said he plans to lead a campaign to get him knighted.

Speaking about the fundraising efforts, Moore told BBC News: “It seems almost like fairy land to think that we started off at 1,000 to a sum of money that’s not believable, is it?”

The veteran has more than exceeded his target.
Tom Moore has exceeded his target many times over.
Tom Moore – pictured in his younger years – has raised millions for the NHS after his attempt going viral.
Tom Moore in his younger days.

Moore, who recently had a hip operation, is ahead of schedule with his walking, and now hopes to finish the challenge by Thursday.

His fundraiser has led more than 200,000 individual donors to sponsor him for his 100 laps.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

Moore, who trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for the Second World War and rising to captain, said: “I never imagined anything like this, but I’m so pleased, and I hope it just goes on because the services I got from all these doctors and nurses was absolutely outstanding.

Tom's efforts have captured the attention of the nation, who have fully backed his bid to raise cash.
Tom Moore's efforts have captured the hearts of the nation.

“And they’re such nice people too.”

Donations to NHS Charities Together can be made at Moore’s fundraising page here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter