Published: 13:08, 23 June 2020
| Updated: 14:35, 23 June 2020
An incredible five-year-old who has overcome adversity to become a national fundraising sensation has now raised more than £1million.
Brave Tony Hudgell began his challenge to walk 10km outside his Kings Hill home in June to raise just £500 for Evelina London Children's Hospital after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore.
Now the little Chelsea fan has not only exceeded that target by an unimaginable degree, he has also captured the nation's hearts in the process, with donations flooding in from far and wide.
Such is the Discovery School pupil's renown, yesterday his name was up in lights above Piccadilly Circus in London as the hospital which saved his life thanked him for his fantastic achievements.
Caroline Gormley, associate director of fundraising at Evelina London, said: "We are so touched by the generosity of those giving money to support Tony's incredible fundraising challenge.
"It has been truly inspiring following Tony's journey and seeing his confidence grow as the month has gone on. He is an absolute star and it's wonderful to know that the money he has raised will help children like Tony and their families across the region.
"We are so proud of Tony and can’t thank him or his amazing family enough."
So far his JustGiving page has raised more almost £900,000, with gift aid and offline donations taking the total raised past the £1million mark.
Proud mum Paula Hudgell said: "We could not be prouder or happier for him giving something back to this incredible hospital.
"We just can't thank everybody enough for all the support, love and messages. It's just been so wonderful for Tony, his walking has improved so much."
Chelsea FC and their captain Cesar Azpilicueta have also been backing the youngster throughout his adventure.
The club has offered him the chance to visit their training ground and has sent him a signed football shirt.
Tragically Tony - who walks with crutches and prosthetics - was left without legs after he suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his biological parents.
Horrific abuse by Jody Simpson and Antony Smith resulted in him having to have both legs amputated and left him fighting for his life when just 41 days old.
The Maidstone couple were both eventually jailed for 10 years in 2018 and have had subsequent attempts to slash their sentences rejected by the courts.
More by this authorRhys Griffiths