Second World War veteran raises £12m for UK health workers

Retired captain Tom Moore, 99, completes 100 laps of his garden with a walking frame and a guard of honour

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A 99-year-old war veteran from the UK has raised more than £12 million for health workers on the frontline of the battle to beat the coronavirus.

Retired captain Tom Moore, who uses a walking frame, reached his target of 100 laps of his garden on Thursday morning with a guard of honour from the British Army.

His goal of completing the walk in 10-lap chunks before his 100th birthday on April 30 initially aimed to raise £1,000 for National Health Service staff who had treated him for a broken hip.

But the target was smashed within days when the public rallied to the cause, with 620,000 people donating more than £12 million (Dh55m/US14.9m).

"I feel fine, I hope you're all feeling fine too," he said at the finish line.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described Mr Moore as an "inspiration".

"This is an awful crisis but there are some little shafts of light," Mr Hancock added.

Even in ordinary times, there are significant budget pressures in the state-funded NHS.

But the system is under enormous strain during the global pandemic, with almost 100,000 confirmed infected cases of coronavirus and counting.

"Every penny that we get, they deserve every one of it," Mr Moore told the BBC.

The veteran, who lives in Bedfordshire, enlisted at the start of the Second World War, and served in India and Sumatra.

He had wished to raise £1,000, then £500,000. After that, he decided to just carry on.

"When I was in hospital with my hip and then with my head, the service I got was absolutely unbelievable," Mr Moore said.

"At all times, they were so good, so cheerful, so friendly."

Pointing to the campaign medals pinned to his jacket, he said: "Fortune favours the brave, and that's what they are. They're brave.

"That's the way I think I've always looked at things: tomorrow will be a good day.

"I shall continue up and down here after my birthday. I'll keep on going while people are still contributing to the NHS."

Mr Moore's success has led to a schoolgirl calling on children in the UK to send him a virtual birthday card.