'He united us all' - Boris Johnson pays tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore

2 February 2021, 18:00 | Updated: 2 February 2021, 18:08

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore who died in hospital at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19.

The veteran, who captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown, died in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore dies aged 100 after testing positive for Covid-19

Boris Johnson said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and, in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis, he united us all, he cheered us all up and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.

“It’s quite astonishing that, at the age of 100, he raised more than £32million for the NHS on his own and so gave countless others their own chance to thank the extraordinary men and women who have protected us throughout this pandemic.

Read more: Captain Sir Tom Moore obituary: The hero who inspired a nation

“He became not just a national inspiration, but a beacon of hope for the world. Our thoughts today are with his daughter, Hannah, and all his family, and his legacy will long live after him.”

Read more: Queen leads tributes to Captain Sir Tom Moore after he dies aged 100

Captain Tom Moore has been made an honorary colonel to mark his 100th birthday
Captain Tom Moore has been made an honorary colonel to mark his 100th birthday. Picture: PA

Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the royal family's thoughts are with Sir Tom's family and she is sending a private message of condolence.

Sir Tom's fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in April.

The veteran set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.

He raised a total of £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday on April 30.

He started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.