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Wimbledon crowd give Captain Sir Tom Moore, vaccine creators and NHS heroes emotional standing ovation


The All England Club will be paying tribute throughout the tournament (Pictures: Getty / AFP)

Wimbledon will be paying tribute to notable contributors in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic throughout the Championships, starting with an emotional standing ovation for Captain Sir Tom Moore and NHS heroes.

The start of play on the first day of action at the All England Club was delayed due to rain on Monday, with defending champion Novak Djokovic kicking off the action under the roof on Centre Court against British starlet Jack Draper.

Before the two players faced off, Wimbledon announced a host of special guests who have played vital roles during the pandemic would be in the Royal Box over the next two weeks.

Moment Captain Sir Tom Moore is given standing ovation at Wimbledon

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Monday’s guests included leaders who helped develop the Covid vaccines, NHS critical care staff and Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram, with the entire Centre Court crowd rising to their feet unpromoted to celebrate and applaud their contributions.

Shortly before Djokovic and Draper walked out on court, the Wimbledon announcer began: ‘Before we welcome the players on to court we would like to thank all those who have contributed so much during this unprecedented period in all our lives.

‘Throughout this coming fortnight the Club’s chairman has invited to the Royal Box individuals and representatives of organisations who have contributed so much in the nation’s response to the pandemic and who have helped to make this Wimbledon possible.

‘Today, they include leaders wo have developed the anti-Covid vaccines…’

At this point there was a long period of applause as spectators rose to their feet to give a standing ovation, which lasted well over a minute and had to be interrupted by the announcer.

‘Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much, we’ll be asking for a bit more in a minute.’

Captain Tom raised £33million for charity during the height of the pandemic (Picture: PA)

He then continued with the tributes, listing other notable guests: ‘NHS medical staff who have led clinical trials as well as those engaged in critical care, NHS nursing staff honoured for their services during the pandemic, inspirational workers in the community and at Transport for London.

‘And, finally, he was a national inspiration raising £33million for the NHS when he challenged himself to walk 100 laps of his garden as he approached his 100th birthday.

Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram, blew a kiss to the crowd (Picture: AFP)

‘He sadly passed away in February of this year, but we are delighted to have with us today one of the daughters of Captain Sir Tom Moore.’

Captain Tom’s daughter stood up and waved to the crowd, who were once again on their feet applauding as a picture of the war veteran was displayed on the scoreboards, before Djokovic and Draper were finally brought out onto court.

Wimbledon will be paying tribute to heroes of the pandemic throughout the tournament and the famous Henman Hill has been painted with a ‘Thank You’ message to the NHS.


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