Members of Captain Sir Tom’s family were at Lord’s Cricket Ground today to mark the start of Captain Tom 100 Challenge – a weekend of fundraising in honour of the former second world war veteran who famously raised £38.9million for the NHS at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The morning began at Lord’s with Captain Sir Tom’s family presenting Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, with a stunning framed portrait of Captain Tom which was taken by Gavin Bond. The portrait is captioned with the awarding of his Honorary Life Membership to the Club.
The family were joined at the Home of Cricket by special guests including former England Captains Clare Connor and Mike Gatting, and MCC Foundation Director, Dr Sarah Fane. They joined local young cricketers who benefit from MCC Foundation programmes to mark the official start of challenges up and down the country for a number of charities by ringing the Ground’s famous five-minute bell in the iconic Pavilion at Lord’s.
The bell is only normally rung before the start of a match at Lord’s but in a break with tradition, it was rung by Captain Tom’s family in his honour on what would have been his 101st birthday, and a year on from the extraordinary celebrations which followed his completion of 100 laps of his garden to raise millions for NHS charities.
A devoted cricket fan, Captain Tom was awarded with Honorary Life Membership of MCC last summer and invited to ring the bell during a Test match at Lord’s, an opportunity which is carried out by a respected name in cricket. He was also made an honorary member of the England cricket team on his 100th birthday by former captain Michael Vaughan.
The Captain Tom 100 Challenge was announced earlier this month by The Captain Tom Foundation, inviting everyone to get involved to celebrate the hope and joy Captain Tom brought to millions and raise money for charity. Today’s launch event marked the start of challenges based on the number 100 by people of all ages and abilities up and down the country and across the bank holiday weekend. The MCC Foundation, which works to transform the lives of young people through cricket, is proud to support The Captain Tom Foundation, and they were the first to start the weekend of fundraising activities with an aptly themed cricket challenge. The Foundation’s young beneficiaries and Ambassadors split into two teams in a competition to score 100 runs on the hallowed turf at Lord’s.
Up and down the country people are getting creative with their Captain Tom 100 challenges and having fun all whilst raising vital funds for some wonderful charities:
- Five-year-old Betty-Leigh Allisonwho will be baking 100 cakes to raise money for Garden House Hospice Care in North Hertfordshire.
- Curtis Langley and Ben Hampson, both from Shropshire, who will be playing 100 holes of golf in their 18-hour challenge to raise money for The Movement Centre.
- Five-year-old Lewis Whele, (Lewis’s Little Legs) from Essex, who has cerebral palsy, and will be aiming to walk 100 steps without using his sticks.
- Mother and daughter team, Angela and Charlotte Reid, from South Devon, who will be walking 100 lengths of Sidmouth seafront together. Charlotte will take part from her wheelchair and is hoping to take a few steps along the way. They will be walking 20 lengths a day between 29 April and 3 May raising money for Brain Tumour Research.
- Eight year old Archie from Newmarket is spending 100 nights outside on his own, no tent, just a bivvy bag to raise money for The Captain Tom Foundation.
- Gerda Aleksandraviciute, from Cambridgeshire has gathered 100 knitters from across the UK to make 100 blankets for the charity Baby Basics.
Hannah Ingram-Moore from The Captain Tom Moore Foundation said:
“Cricket was one of my father’s lifelong passions and it is truly special to be here at Lord’s today to launch the Captain Tom 100 on what would have been his 101st birthday. It’s so exciting to see all the challenges happening across the country and worldwide – from baking to knitting, running to swimming, singing to litter picking, walking and skipping – anything and everything to fundraise for so many great causes. My father would have loved it. Thank you to everyone.”
MCC Foundation Director Dr Sarah Fane added:
“The Captain Tom Foundation and the MCC Foundation are both committed to empowering people to reach their full potential, to unite and inspire communities, and to promote physical and mental well-being.
We were absolutely delighted to be taking part in the launch of the Captain Tom 100 challenge, celebrating the magnificent achievements and the spirit of generosity that Captain Tom embodied. Our work is needed more than ever and we would like to encourage people to take part in the challenge and where possible, to donate to the MCC Foundation so we can further advance our projects in the UK and overseas.”
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said:
“Captain Tom was an avid cricket fan and we were privileged to be a part of the launch of this incredible fundraising weekend. I had the great pleasure of presenting Captain Tom with his MCC Honorary Life Membership and although he sadly didn’t get the opportunity to come to Lord’s, he would be immensely proud that his family have instead rung the bell to start their campaign, bringing together Captain Tom’s love for cricket and passion for fundraising.”
You can raise money for The Captain Tom Foundation, the MCC Foundation or another charity of your choice by taking on your own Captain Tom 100 challenge this weekend. To find out more visit captaintom100.com