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Captain Sir Tom Moore presented with Lionhearts honour by David Beckham

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran became a national hero by fundraising for the NHS.

Fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore has become the first member of the Lionhearts squad of inspirational heroes, receiving a personal visit from David Beckham.

The former England skipper made a trip to Captain Sir Tom’s Bedfordshire home to hand over a framed football shirt and to say thank you.

Beckham said: “The highlight of my whole career was being made England captain. To have Sir Tom as our captain – it doesn’t get any better than that.”

He added: “Everyone was aware at some point of this amazing man but I think he went above and beyond any expectations out there.”

He was named as honorary captain of the Lionhearts, an initiative honouring inspirational people who have gone above and beyond during the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Captain Sir Tom said: “It is very kind of you and I am delighted to receive that honour especially from you. Thank you very much indeed.”

The Second World War veteran, whose original fundraising target was £1,000, raised nearly £33 million for the NHS by his 100th birthday by walking laps of his garden. He also won the hearts of the nation along the long way.

Asked by Beckham about what makes a good leader, Captain Sir Tom said: “I think you have to rather like people and realise there is good in everyone and as a leader you can bring it out of them.

“It is no good you asking me about a leader when you have been sitting there and you know you have been one of the biggest and finest leaders in football we have ever had.”

Captain Sir Tom also recalled from from the first day he was conscripted at the age of 20, he had decided “that of all these 500 (new recruits) I am going to be the best”.

He added: “I worked on that throughout. I did get promotion and eventually I was sent to the officer training unit to become an officer.”

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