Coronavirus: Capt Tom guest of honour at Harrogate hospital opening
A 99-year-old war veteran who raised an incredible £26m for the NHS is to be guest of honour at the opening of a Nightingale hospital in Harrogate.
Captain Tom Moore originally aimed to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
The veteran, who was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, will appear via video link at the opening on Tuesday.
He said it was an honour and a chance to thank NHS workers directly.
Capt Tom, who lives in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire, said: "I am still amazed by the amount of kindness and generosity from the UK public who continue to give despite it being an uncertain time for many.
"I think the amount raised demonstrates just how much we all value the dedication and sacrifices made by our NHS workers. I have fought during a war and they are now fighting in a war too."
NHS Charities Together said it was "truly inspired and humbled" by his efforts.
Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: "On behalf of the NHS our heartfelt thanks go to Captain Tom Moore for his remarkable fundraising efforts for NHS charities.
"Inviting Captain Moore to be our guest of honour at the opening of NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber is the least we can do to thank him."
Harrogate Convention Centre will be used for 500 beds - the first of the field hospitals to be built outside a city.
The veteran, who served in Myanmar during the Second World War, has been praised by the Duke of Cambridge, who described him as a "one-man fundraising machine".
Prince William also made a donation for an undisclosed amount.
Brig Andrew Jackson, colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment, described Capt Tom as "an absolute legend" who came from "an exceptional generation that are still an inspiration for our Yorkshire soldiers today".
Keighley Town Council said it would "honour the fundraising hero" with the freedom of the town.
Capt Tom has also inspired others to raise money, including a youngster from Wetherby, in West Yorkshire.
Hector Dee is walking six miles in six days to mark his sixth birthday.