- The centenarian brought hope during the coronavirus pandemic by raising millions for the NHS.
British national treasure Captain Tom has proudly displayed his ‘Rainbow Laces’ to show his support for LGBT+ inclusion in sport.
Captain Sir Thomas Moore became a household name during the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. He raised millions for Britain’s National Health Service by a sponsored walk and creating a charity single.
Now he has supported LGBT+ charity Stonewall’s ‘Rainbow Laces Day’ today. The annual initiative gets LGBT+ people and sporting allies to tie their boots with the laces to show they support inclusion.
He tweeted: ‘As Captain of the #Lionhearts I am proud to show off my #RainbowLaces to show that in sport, a fan is a fan no matter what. #AFanIsAFan #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay.’
Since his summer of fundraising Captain Tom has also become honorary ‘captain’ of the ‘#Lionhearts’. The Football Association and the England soccer team set up the Lionhearts to celebrate 23 heroes who have boosted the country during the coronavirus crisis.
Captain Tom’s Twitter fans have also welcomed his support for Rainbow Laces.
@INorris90 commented: ‘A brilliant thing to do dir. Discrimination has no place in our society, of whatever kind. I know you have publicly fought against racism for most of your life, thank you for getting involved.’
And @camdengirl67 told him: ‘Captain Tom, you’re such an inspirational man you’ve brought so much joy to what has been a miserable year. You’ve become the UK’s adopted grandad!’
Meanwhile @aminorjourney said: ‘You sir, are a national treasure. Thank you for the goodness in your heart, the kindness in your deeds, and the determination to make every day better for as many people as possible.’
Homophobia and transphobia in sport continues to be a problem in the UK.
Stonewall research shows 43% of LGBT+ people don’t think public sports events are a welcoming space for them.
Meanwhile in just one year 11% of LGBT+ people face discrimination while exercising at a fitness club or taking part in group sport. That rises to 28% among trans people.
Moreover, 14% of LGBT+ school students – including 29% of trans pupils – face bullying during sports lessons.
However, sports bodies have struggled to make an impact on levels of homophobia and transphobia. Meanwhile, many continue to enforce policies that exclude some LGBT+ athletes.
About Captain Tom
Born on 30 April 1920, Captain Tom served in Burma during the Second World War. He went on to be an instructor in armored warfare. In civilian life he managed a concrete company and was an avid motorcycle racer.
He didn’t come to fame until 6 April 2020 when, at the age of 99, he began to walk laps of his garden to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
He initially hoped to raise £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. However, his efforts captivated the UK and over 1.5million people donated.
He also released a cover version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ sung by musical legend Michael Ball. The single topped the music charts, making Captain Tom the oldest person to achieve a UK number one.
In the end, his fundraising generated almost £40million.
The UK was swift to recognize his contribution. The Queen awarded him a knighthood, the public sent him 150,000 birthday cards and both the Royal Air Force and British Army marked his birthday with flypasts.
The Army also promoted him to be Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, Yorkshire.