DAVID Beckham led tributes to our NHS heroes last night, saying: “It’s incredible to be in a room full of heroes.”

The England legend spoke after being moved by stories of bravery shown by patients and staff over the past pandemic-blighted year.

Becks, who took his mum Sandra to the event, said: “We all want to be inspired by inspirational people and that’s why The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards is such an amazing night.

“In the last 18 months, we have realised just how special doctors and medical teams really are.”

And the football ace even joked about a cut on his nose telling guests: “I bashed it on the car door while letting the dog out.”

Becks met seven-year-old supergirl Carmela Chillery-Watson who has walked hundreds of miles dressed as Wonder Woman and raised £50,000 for charity, despite having muscular dystrophy.

Prince William also met Carmela telling her: “You should feel very good about what you have done.”

Afterwards, delighted Carmela, of Devizes, Wilts, said: “He said £50,000 was amazing. It was really lovely meeting him He was really kind and he is my mum’s hero so she is happy too.”

Wills and Becks were joined by a galaxy of stars at our glittering celebration of those who helped the UK in its darkest Covid hour.

They included ex footballers Gary Lineker and Frank Lampard, singer Rod Stewart and model wife Penny Lancaster, and TV stars including Kate Garraway, Chris Evans and Piers Morgan.

The event honours nominees across 13 different categories and was hosted by Davina McCall.

Other guests at The National Lottery-sponsored bash included Fleur East, Mark Cavendish and wife Peta, and Troy Deeney and partner Alisha Hosannah.

Arriving on the red carpet, our nominees were met by Davina, who told them: “Come on through, you’re all amazing, well done”

She added: “It’s important every year, but this year more than ever. We’ve all been humbled by the actions of our healthcare heroes over the past 18 months and these are the things they all just do selflessly and do all the time.”

GMB’s Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper has fought a long, hard battle with Covid, said: “The NHS is absolutely extraordinary. Without it Derek wouldn’t be alive and that’s the same for millions of others every day. It’s a wonderful thing.”

The Caroline Flack Mental Health Hero award was unveiled by her mum Christina to honour the late Love Island host by recognising an individual working to improve mental health.

Piers Morgan hailed the nominees and said: “These people sacrificed their lives and long unbelievably arduous hours. They’ve lost colleagues, they’ve lost loved ones to save the lives of complete strangers.”

England and Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings said: “We’re celebrating some fantastic people with amazing stories who have helped to change other people’s lives. We appreciate the NHS more now than we ever have before.”

Sun columnist Troy Deeney added: “I think it’s hugely important to recognise ordinary people.

“Sportsmen and women, athletes at the Olympics, all the people already in the limelight get highlighted enough, good and bad. But these people here tonight are really the people that deserve it.

And Sun Editor-in-Chief Victoria Newton said: “I want to send a massive thank you to all of The Sun’s Who Cares Wins nominees and winners, for what they have done for all of us over this challenging year.

“They have all gone above the call of duty to keep us safe and all of them would have been worthy winners tonight. We owe all of them so very much.

“Thank you as well to NHS Charities Together and Channel 4 for partnering with us on our awards, and all of the amazing award presenters tonight for supporting and uplifting our healthcare heroes.”

  • The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards will be broadcast on Channel 4 and All 4 on Sunday at 7.30pm.

Who Cares Wins awards

The Who Cares Wins awards honour those who have helped take care of the nation.

Here are the categories:

  • 999 Hero
  • Best Charity
  • Best Doctor
  • Best Midwife
  • Best Nurse
  • Groundbreaking Pioneer
  • Mental Health Hero
  • National Lottery Award
  • Ultimate lifesaver
  • Unsung Hero
  • Young Hero

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