Opinion: Captain Sir Tom Moore - a remarkable man whose efforts inspired us all

It started out as a few steps from a grateful patient and ended up as a marathon effort which raised millions for our National Health Service.

Sunday, 7th February 2021, 11:40 am

Captain Sir Tom Moore marched into our hearts last year in the early days of the first pandemic lockdown as he bravely decided to walk round his garden to fundraise for health services.

It was his way of saying thank you to the nurses, doctors and other health workers who had helped him recover from skin cancer and a hip operation.

What made his fundraiser remarkable and captured not just the attention of the entire country but across the world was that this white-haired, smiling Army veteran was only weeks away from his 100th birthday.

Captain Sir Tom Moore has died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19

His efforts walking 100 laps of his garden raised over £33 million NHS Charities Together.

It also propelled him into the realms of celebrity status as his deeds were reported in newspapers and his story told on television programmes around the world.

In July he was knighted by HM The Queen and no-one could disagree that he was indeed a worthy recipient of this honour, albeit so late in his life.

But it was that dedication to a cause he truly believed in – our NHS – which impressed everyone who heard and saw him walking round his garden with his wheeled walking frame determined to make his target.

Sadly this week brought the news that he had been admitted to hospital with breathing problems brought on by pneumonia and sadly, on Tuesday we learned that he had died peacefully.

A life well-lived, his journey was finally over.

The majority of us have only known him for the last ten months but it certainly feels that we have lost someone special: almost like a favourite grandparent or elderly relative who would regale us with tales from days gone bye.

But also someone who would teach and inspire us that if we set out to do something then we should stick with it and not let anything or anyone stop us on our path.

His family will be heartbroken and we all share in their sense of loss of an old soldier who became a national treasure – RIP Captain Sir Tom.