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 Second World War veteran 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.
"It is very kind of you and I am delighted to receive that honour especially from you. Thank you very much indeed," Captain Sir Tom said.
He had originally set up a fundraising target for the NHS of £1,000 by walking laps of his garden.
However, Captain Sir Tom's story soon won the hearts of the nation and by his 100th birthday, he had raised nearly £33m.
Beckham visited Captain Sir Tom's Bedfordshire home and handed over a framed football shirt.
"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," the former England player said.
"Everyone was aware at some point of this amazing man but I think he went above and beyond any expectations out there."
Asked 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 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."
Cover image: PA.