War hero, 98, inspired by Captain Sir Tom raises more than £20,000 for charity

A 98-year-old World War Two veteran, inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore, has raised £20,000 for Motor Neurone Disease by taking daily walks in his garden – despite the fact he broke his back in three places in 2016.

Harold Jones, 98, with Amanda Devlin of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and supporter Mike Jordan
Harold Jones, 98, with Amanda Devlin of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and supporter Mike Jordan

Great-grandfather Harold Jones, who grew up in Greets Green, West Bromwich, and now lives in Sutton Coldfield, started taking daily walks to get exercise during the first Covid lockdown.

At first, he managed just two laps of the minute-long course around his bungalow’s garden but increased the number to 40 laps a day, after choosing to raise cash for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Harold, who like Captain Sir Tom served in the Army in India and Burma during World War Two, completes the laps aided by mobility apparatus, having broken his back in a fall in 2016.

Harold as a young Lance Corporal during World War Two.

Now he is celebrating hitting the £20,000 mark, having walked more than 400 miles – but has pledged to continue raising cash through his JustGiving account.

Harold said: “I’m very pleased to have reached £20,000. I thought raising £1,000 would be a real achievement! But now my new target is £25,000 and I’m determined to carry on every day.

“I chose to support the Motor Neurone Disease Association because I have lost three friends to this terrible disease and there is a real need to help sufferers, support their loved ones, research the cause of the illness, fund treatment and ultimately find a cure.

“I have been supported by so many people, including one very generous anonymous donor who said that if I made it to £10,000 he would double it – which he did. I can’t describe how grateful I am for this together with other help and encouragement he gave me on the way. I’ve also rediscovered a lot of old friends through my fundraising, who I have been able to reach out to.”

Harold, who was a Lance Corporal during his army days, enters his 100th year in July,

He said: “I won’t be stopping because I’m the one who has benefitted from this, because of the exercise it has given me. If you add it all up, I’ve now walked to Land’s End, turned around and I’m more than 100 miles into the journey home!

“To be honest, I find it embarrassing when people pay me a compliment about what I’ve done because I’m just an ordinary fellow doing an ordinary thing as far as I’m concerned!”

Financial adviser Mike Jordan, of Jordan Financial Management, has been one of Harold’s biggest supporters, urging businesses to back him.

Mike said: “Harold, who has been a client of ours for many years, always says that age is just a number. He was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to use his daily exercise to help a good cause, but I think he has now gone on to inspire so many people himself.”

Amanda Devlin of the Motor Neurone Disease Association added: “We are in awe of Harold. His sheer determination and constant enthusiasm for the cause is heart-warming."

Captain Sir Tom, who died in February at the age of 100, raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden during lockdown.

To donate to Harold’s appeal, visit bit.ly/3E1Byp5

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