War veteran, 104, receives Christmas surprise from lottery winners

·2 min read

A 104-year-old war veteran has been dancing on his doorstep after he was given a Christmas surprise by Lottery winners.

Tom Beevers, who served in the Desert Rats during the Second World War, was greeted at his home in Maghull, Merseyside, on Tuesday by Sharon and Nigel Mather, who won £12.4 million in the Euromillions in 2010.

He was given a hamper of Christmas treats and entertained by the LMA Choir, who sang Mr Beevers’ favourite carol, Silent Night.

The Everton-supporting great-great-grandfather, who enjoyed a dance as the choir performed Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, said: “It’s a good feeling to have, to think that people think so much of you to come.

“I can’t put words to it.”

He said he was looking forward to a “good nosh up and a booze up” on Christmas Day.

Mr Beevers was joined on the doorstep by daughter Lynn Davidson, 75, and granddaughter Alison Lally, 51.

Mrs Davidson said her father would often tell them stories of his time serving in North Africa.

She said: “He had a chameleon which he would put under his beret and he used to take it into the tank with him when he drove it. It was his little mate.”

She said Silent Night was his favourite carol because he would sing it during the war and he used to know the words in German.

Mrs Lally said: “There were tears in my eyes when they sang it today.”

Mrs Davidson said her father grew up in Bootle, Sefton, and met her mother, May, who died 28 years ago, at dance halls before the war.

Lottery winners spread Christmas cheer
Lottery winners Sharon and Nigel Mather deliver a Christmas hamper to 104-year-old war veteran Tom Beevers (Peter Byrne/PA)

He joined the Army in 1939 and married her when he returned from his service in 1945, Mrs Davidson said.

She said: “He always has us laughing with his stories. I’ve heard them umpteen times and they’re still as fresh as when he first told them.”

Mr and Mrs Mather, from Bowdon, Greater Manchester, visited Mr Beevers’ home as part of their work to support the Everton in the Community charity, which has a Veterans’ Hub for current and former service personnel.

He is one of 14 veterans from Merseyside who have been given hampers from National Lottery winners this year.

Mrs Mather, 50, said: “I feel quite honoured that we have been asked to come and meet Tom today. I have never met anybody over 100 before and he is a veteran.”

Mr Mather, 56, added: “He was obviously overwhelmed and really pleased and he said thank you to everyone. He is on good form because his team won last night!”

The couple said they were looking forward to a “peaceful, family Christmas” with children Lewis, 12, and Rhys, 16.