Captain Tom Moore becomes oldest person to achieve number one single - days before turning 100

·Contributor
99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden - raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden - raising more than 12 million pounds for the NHS. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Captain Tom Moore has captured hearts and imaginations with his NHS fundraising exploits amidst the coronavirus pandemic - but he has now cemented his place in the record books by becoming the oldest person to reach number one in the UK singles charts.

The 99-year-old war veteran’s cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, a collaboration with singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices Of Care Choir, faced stiff competition from The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights.

However, Captain Moore’s effort eventually managed to make it over the line first - meaning he will turn 100 with his song reigning supreme.

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Captain Moore has so far raised over £28m for the NHS walking laps of his garden during lockdown, and funds raised from the single will also go towards NHS charities.

Knowing a good cause when he sees one, The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, even tweeted fans to get behind his competitor, urging fans to get him to number one.

The Weeknd attends the premiere of A24's "Uncut Gems" at The Dome at ArcLight Hollywood on December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
The Weeknd attends the premiere of A24's "Uncut Gems" at The Dome at ArcLight Hollywood on December 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

You’ll Never Walk Alone eventually managed combined chart sales of 82,000 units, with Blinding Lights achieving 69,000.

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Captain Moore said: "What wonderful news to receive today, a No.1 single and a record breaker too – my grandchildren can’t believe I am a chart-topper!

"I have to thank Michael Ball, the NHS Voices of Care Choir and everyone behind the scenes, who shared their talents and expertise in order to raise money for the NHS, to whom we owe so much.

"And, of course, the public for buying the single and donating – we’re in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support. And this just proves You’ll Never Walk Alone."

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Michael Ball performs on stage during BBC Proms In The Park 2019 at Hyde Park on September 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Michael Ball performs on stage during BBC Proms In The Park 2019 at Hyde Park on September 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

His singing partner Michael told OfficialCharts.com: " This is the most extraordinary thing, one of the most proudest moments of my career, but it’s not about me, it’s about Captain Tom.

"Thank you for giving him a Number 1 on his 100th birthday. You are the best, God bless ya."

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, added: "The sight of Captain Tom Moore and Michael Ball at the top of the Official Singles Chart this week should lift everybody’s spirits in these extraordinary times.

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"We are absolutely delighted to see them at the pinnacle and setting new landmarks as they go – including a record as the oldest Number 1 Singles artist of all time.

"It has been a roller coaster week, starting with a big initial lead for Capt Tom, before The Weeknd closed the gap yesterday to almost nothing – before a massive surge in the final day by Capt Tom. Huge thanks to the Weeknd for lending his support at the eleventh hour.

"But this is Captain Tom’s week – congratulations sir and happy birthday for next week. You are a hero to us all."