Captain Tom Moore, the British Army veteran who raised more than $55 million for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), has become the oldest artist to claim a UK number one single, topping the music charts on the week of his 100th birthday.
- Captain Moore walked laps of his back garden to raise money for Britain’s NHS
- The single sold 82,000 units to become the fastest-selling single of the year
- The UK has recorded more than 144,000 cases of the coronavirus
A version of You’ll Never Walk Alone featuring Captain Moore singing with theatre star Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir was released last weekend to raise money for the NHS and quickly rose through the charts, knocking The Weeknd’s hit Blinding Lights off its pedestal.
The single had been neck and neck with Blinding Lights until the Canadian star asked his fans on Twitter to support Captain Moore instead.
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Captain Tom Moore, Michael Ball & The NHS Voices of Care Choir
With chart sales of 82,000 units, You’ll Never Walk Alone is now the fastest-selling single of the year.
He’s done it! Red heart @CaptainTomMoore has the UK’s official number one single with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ Raising hands
“What wonderful news to receive today, a number one single and a record breaker too — my grandchildren can’t believe I am a chart-topper,” Captain Moore told BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills after the official tally was revealed on Friday night (local time).
“We’re in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support. And this just proves: you’ll never walk alone.”
The Gerry and The Pacemakers classic was chosen after Captain Moore captured the nation’s hearts walking lengths in his back garden to raise money for Britain’s NHS.
The war veteran — who has used a walking frame with wheels since breaking his hip — set himself the target of walking the 25 metres around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.
He reached that goal almost two weeks early but continued walking.
His original target was to raise 1,000 pounds ($AU1,943), but media attention from across the globe brought in hundreds of thousands of supporters, raising millions for the health care service under extreme pressure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your questions on coronavirus answered:
The UK has recorded more than 144,000 cases of the coronavirus with almost 20,000 deaths.
Captain Moore said the walk was inspired by the care he received from Britain’s state-run health service after his accident and when he was treated for cancer.
The race for number one
After a strong start in the days following its release, You’ll Never Walk Alone began falling behind on Thursday, with Blinding Lights, which spent eight weeks at number one, looking strong to retain the number one spot.
In a tweet, The Weeknd endorsed his rival, appealing to his 11.8 million followers to support Captain Moore so he can “have a No 1 for his 100th birthday”.
“We’re rooting for you,” the star wrote on Twitter.
everyone in the UK please support @captaintommoore / @mrmichaelball single so this incredible 99 yr old war veteran, walking for the British National Health Service @NHSuk & now raised $35 Million can have a No 1 for his 100th birthday in the UK!We’re routing for you. XO!
“My goodness, how gracious of you @theweeknd,” Captain Moore tweeted in response.
“Benji (Captain Moore’s grandson) tells me you’re rather talented and very popular! What a kind gesture. Thank you!”
The single’s lead singer, Michael Ball, tweeted in response: “Total class. Thank you so so much. Xxx.”
The single is the first number one hit for Ball, one of Britain’s most famous musical theatre stars.
“This is the most extraordinary thing, one of the proudest moments of my career, but it’s not about me, it’s about Captain Tom,” he told the UK’s OfficialCharts.com.
“Thank you for giving him a No 1 on his 100th birthday. You are the best, God bless ya.”
IT’S NO. 1!!!! I can’t believe it @captaintommoore You have done it sir. History has been made. You are No1 for your 100th birthday. I couldn’t be more proud, thrilled, excited and grateful. Thank you so so much to EVERYONE who supported us. What an achievement
On Friday, Captain Moore also broke the Guinness World record for the most money raised by an individual charity walker through his JustGiving crowdfunding page.
The record had stood for 40 years, according to the Guinness World Records website.
What a way to finish the week @GWR . It’s simply wonderful and all for such a good cause. The NHS staff and the volunteers are the real heroes & they continue to do such a magnificent job THANK YOU! #YoullNeverWalkAlone #WalkWithTom