89 Not Out: Day 45, Please Sir, Can We Have Tom Moore? 

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of the lockdown, as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 45, and Ian is inspired by the 100th birthday of a new national here, Captain Tom Moore.

Thursday 30th April, Day 45 of 89.

Please sir, can we have Tom Moore? 

I think that is a headline a tabloid journalists would be proud of! 🙂

Today is Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday. I am sure, like me, you have been following this story as one of the few stories in the news to raise a smile in the last few weeks. 

For those of you avoiding the mainstream media, or living off the grid, then here is a brief recap.

Captain Tom wanted to do something nice to say thank you to the NHS: both for the care he received with a recent knee replacement, and for the work the NHS are doing in this unprecedented time. His challenge was to walk 100 lengths of his back garden before his 100th birthday and perhaps raise £1000 for NHS Charities.

His efforts captured the imagination of the nation, and as I type this late on Wednesday, his total is around £30 million raised for NHS charities. It hasn’t stopped there, for example, his gentle words of encouragement that we will get through this together, and You’ll Never Walk Alone  (musically augmented by Michael Ball) is currently number 1 in what was once called the hit parade.

His birthday today was marked by an RAF flypast, all Royal Mail sent this week will be postmarked with a happy birthday message, and there have been over 125,000 birthday cards sent to him already. Earlier today it was announced that he is finally getting that next promotion and is now an honourary Colonel. 

It has struck me that Captain Tom’s attitude is based on the question ‘what can I do to help?’, which has also been demonstrated by the many thousands who have stepped forward to be NHS volunteers. This seems to be different to the prevailing attitudes I see on social media, which focus on somebody else, with questions like ‘Who needs to sort it out/fix it/make it better?’

I have sadly seen some scathing posts on Facebook along the lines of: ‘Why does the NHS need a 99 year old man doing a sponsored walk to pay for it? This should be the government’s responsibility.

Frankly, I think they have missed the point. He opted to do this because he wanted to say thank you and do his bit.  The public have taken him to their heart and given generously because I think in Captain Tom Moore, we can see a  spirit of optimism and stoical forebearance that, if we can all have a bit more of, we will get through this. 

And I know it would be a gesture, but I do hope he gets a knighthood for his birthday.


Donate to Captain Tom Moore’s fundraiser here.

Find out where the money raised by Captain Moore will be spent at the Association of NHS Charities, Covid-19 Urgent Appeal page on their website.


Don’t miss Ian’s diary each day, keep an eye out for new entries here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing the lockdown at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.

Image taken from Captain Tom Moore’s crowdfunder media gallery.

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