CAPTAIN Sir Tom Moore died yesterday at the age of 100. He was a true legend, a national treasure.

He fought for freedom during the Second World War, and served many years in the army, but he will be remembered as a truly inspirational figure during the dark days of the 2020 lockdown.

Just when people were feeling shut down, confined and unable to do anything, Captain Tom showed that even if you were limited to your own garden, even if your mobility was limited, you could still get out and about and do something.

Amazingly, his something – his laps around his garden – raised £33m for the NHS. He displayed the resilience that was so needed to get through the pandemic; he epitomised the determination that was required, and, in his tie and his medals with a Union flag never far away, he exhibited the strength of the national effort, of how the whole country was pulling together.

He was a modest man but, quite naturally, after 99 well lived years, he seemed to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame – the flypast, the audience with the Queen – and that made the nation clutch him closer to its heart.

Not only was he the epitome of a nation in lockdown, he offered optimism.

"Please remember," he said, "tomorrow will be a good day."

As valuable as his fund raising was, his hope – his certainty – that we will get through the pandemic is his greatest legacy.