Torquay dad Neil does a Captain Tom and raises £25,000 for Rowcroft

Neil Thomas taken aback by the homecoming reception

Neil Thomas taken aback by the homecoming reception Photo:submitted - Credit: Archant

Neil 'Thommo' Thomas follows in Captain Tom's footsteps to raise more than £25,000 for Rowcroft Hospice

Capt Sir Tom Moore. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

Capt Sir Tom Moore. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA - Credit: Archant

Salute Torbay's answer to Captain Tom Moore – Neil 'Thommo' Thomas.

The Torquay dad followed in the famous 100-year-old war veteran's footsteps to capture the imagination and hearts of local residents.

Captain Tom was Knighted and made an honorary colonel in the Army after raising a staggering £33 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire just before his 100th birthday.

Neil, who lives in Torquay, was hoping to raise a few hundred pounds for Rowcroft Hospice in a 200-mile sponsored walk from Big Ben in London to 'Little Ben' in the Bay - the clocktower on Torquay harbourside.

He has so far raised an amazing £25,000 with donations still coming in!

Neil was completely overcome with emotion as he was welcomed home after eight days on the road by hundreds of people, including family, friends, supporters and well-wishers at the harbour on Sunday

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'It was an incredible experience,' said Thommo. 'Thank-you to everyone at the Clock Tower for welcoming me home. I will never in my life be able to describe the feeling when I walked around to the harbourside and the huge roar that went up was amazing.

'My partner Candice, my big boy Jacob, my baby boy Denni, all my family, friends and the community were crowded around. It was so very special to me.

'The walk is complete but the journey continues. I want to continue the social media page and the magnitude of the experience is still sinking in. People have come together and it is so wonderful to hear people say that my videos have helped motivate others.

'There were days when I walked for 14 hours and, while a posted a couple of 15-minute video updates, the other 13 and a half hours, you are just alone with your thoughts.

'You think about all the things you have done in your life, people you have met, mistakes you've made and things you want to do in the future. There were times, walking through the countryside with my music on and singing as loud as I liked, thinking there is nobody else for miles around.'