Captain Tom 100 charity challenge launched at cricket ground
By Sam Russell, PA
The family of Second World War veteran and NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore have launched a nationwide charity challenge in his honour on what would have been his 101st birthday.
Thousands of people around the country are taking on their own individual charity challenges, themed around the number 100, as part of the Captain Tom 100.
Sir Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, rang the five-minute bell at Lord’s cricket ground in London to officially launch the Captain Tom 100 on Friday.
The bell is rung before the start of play at the ground, known as the Home of Cricket, and Sir Tom was a huge fan of the sport.
Ms Ingram-Moore told BBC Breakfast: “It’s really hard not to get emotional because he would have loved to have done this.
“We talked about it and he was really, really looking forward to it.
“To do it for him is not the same, but at least we feel that he’s put the sun out to shine today and he’s made it work for us.
“It’s just incredible and this is all for him and it’s all for that lasting legacy of hope that he’s left us with.”
She said the family “miss him terribly” but he has left an “incredible legacy”.
His grandson, Benjie, 17, said: “It’s a real shame that he’s not here to be with us.
“I would have loved to have experienced this with him, but I think he will be looking down and he will be thinking what a pleasure for our family to be here.”
He said it will be a “difficult weekend” for the family but he is sure Sir Tom would have been “really proud”.
The family plan to go to London Zoo later on Friday to encourage people to support zoos which have lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
People across the country are taking part in the Captain Tom 100 to raise money for the Captain Tom Foundation or a charity of their choice.
A host of celebrities have pledged to take part, with David Beckham to do 100 keepy-uppies, Mary Berry baking 100 cakes, and Jess Ennis-Hill set to complete 100 pogo jumps.
The event takes place from Friday – which would have been Sir Tom’s 101st birthday – until Monday.
Sir Tom raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on April 30 last year.
He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Ms Ingram-Moore and her family plan to walk 100 laps of their garden in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire over the course of the weekend for their Captain Tom 100 challenge.
Organisers are encouraging people to join in by using the hashtag #CaptainTom100 on social media.
– For details, see https://www.captaintom100.com/