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Pride of Britain: Tony 'Bear' Hudgell from Kings Hill wins Child of Courage award


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An inspirational schoolboy from Kings Hill who raised more than £1.2 million for the children's hospital that saved his life as a baby has won a Pride of Britain Award.

Tony Hudgell, a double amputee, who recently learned to walk with crutches on his new prosthetic legs set out to raise £500 by trekking 10km in June.

Tony Hudgell with his Pride of Britain trophy outside Hamleys Toy Shop in London. Picture: Phil Harris For Reach PLC/The Mirror
Tony Hudgell with his Pride of Britain trophy outside Hamleys Toy Shop in London. Picture: Phil Harris For Reach PLC/The Mirror

The six-year-old smashed the target days after starting, and as the total kept climbing, he gained the support of people right across the country.

The Discovery School pupil's incredible efforts are now being recognised at national level as the young fundraiser has won the Child of Courage trophy at this year's Pride of Britain Awards.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, Tony asked his adoptive parents if he could take on his own challenge to raise money for the Evelina Children’s Hospital which has become his second home.

When Tony was just 41 days old he suffered an horrific assault at the hands of his birth parents.

He had multiple fractures, dislocations, blunt trauma to the face leading to multi-organ failure, toxic shock and sepsis.

Tony walked around 300m each day in June
Tony walked around 300m each day in June

He ended up on life support and close to death.

The injuries to his legs were so extreme they had to be amputated.

By the time Tony, known as Bear, completed the final few steps, tens of thousands of supporters had donated more than £1.2m .

In becoming a national sensation the little lad received words of encouragement from former Prime Minister David Cameron , the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge , and the footballing heroes of his team Chelsea.

The Pride of Britain Awards will air on ITV at 9pm on Sunday, November 1.

Sir Hermon Ouseley with his Pride of Britain award at the Dulwich hamlets footballer ground in London. Picture: Humphrey Nemar
Sir Hermon Ouseley with his Pride of Britain award at the Dulwich hamlets footballer ground in London. Picture: Humphrey Nemar

Organisers hope this year's ceremony will lift the spirits of the nation, after what has been a challenging and uncertain time.

Host Carol Vorderman said, “Our winners are the perfect representation of the way the nation has pulled together in 2020.

"People have faced challenges unlike anything we could have imagined, but we have all helped each other through them, and that is what Pride of Britain is all about.

"And it is what our winners are all about too. From a six-year-old schoolboy to a 100-year-old war hero, and from a young mum to an England footballer, they have all gone to extreme lengths to put other people first.

"That is a wonderful thing, and it makes this such a special show."

Also waving the flag for Kent is Lord Herman Ouseley who has won the Special Recognition award.

His experience as a young boy who arrived by boat from Guyana to south-east London at the age of 11 was the driving force behind a lifetime’s work tackling racism.

By the time he founded Kick It Out in 1993, Herman had already broken many barriers in his career and became the first black Executive Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Initially set up to tackle racial abuse of top-tier players, over the past 26 years Kick It Out has widened and now aims to address all forms of discrimination, and helped to establish disabled, multi-faith and LGBTQ+ football leagues across the country.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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