Charity fundraiser, aged 100, joined by relatives in hospital where he is being treated for pneumonia
Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £38.9m for NHS charities last year after pledging to walk 100 laps of his garden. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
The Guardian-Guardian staff and agency
Family members of Captain Sir Tom Moore are with him in hospital after he tested positive for Covid-19, Bedford hospital has said.
The 100-year-old charity fundraiser was admitted to hospital on Sunday, after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for the virus the week before last.
On Monday, Bedford hospital released a statement with the agreement of Moore’s daughters, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, saying: “Bedford hospital continues to care for Captain Sir Tom Moore. At this time members of Captain Tom’s family are with him.
“We respectfully request that media give the family space and privacy and do not contact them directly so they can focus on their father, grandfather and father-in-law.”
The veteran’s family had confirmed his illness on Sunday, releasing a statement on Twitter that said he had needed additional help with his breathing and was being treated on a ward but not in ICU.
A spokesperson for the veteran’s family told the BBC that he had not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine because of the medication he has been taking for pneumonia.
Moore’s fundraising efforts during the first national lockdown in April last year raised £38.9m for NHS charities after he pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
He went on to break two Guinness world records – becoming the oldest person to get a No 1 single in the UK charts and raising the most money ever for doing an individual charity walk – and was knighted by the Queen. He also published an autobiography, Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day, and a children’s picture book, One Hundred Steps.
On his birthday he received more than 225,000 birthday cards and a bombardment of gifts, while in September the centenarian signed a film deal to have a biopic made of his life. Many figures have sent well wishes to the veteran, including the prime minister.
After the news of his hospital admission, there was a flood of get-well-soon messages. Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are very much with Moore and his family. You’ve inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery.” The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, wrote: “The whole nation hopes you get well soon. You’ve been an inspiration to us all throughout this crisis.”
Michael Ball, who recorded the charity single You’ll Never Walk Alone with Moore, making him the first centenarian to reach the top of the charts, tweeted: “Love and prayers for Moore and his lovely family as he battles this bastard of a virus. Stay strong Sir. We are all here for you.”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, thanked the NHS staff looking after the war veteran, adding: “Hoping for a speedy recovery and to see Captain Tom back home with his family soon.”