The 100-year-old war veteran – who raised more than £30 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden earlier this year – and has now become the first member of the Lionhearts squad of inspirational heroes.
The Lionhearts is an initiative honouring inspirational people who have gone above and beyond during the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Former England captain David made a trip to Captain Sir Tom’s Bedfordshire home to hand over a framed football shirt and to say thank you.
He said: “The highlight of my whole career was being made England captain. To have Sir Tom as our captain – it doesn’t get any better than that.
“Everyone was aware at some point of this amazing man but I think he went above and beyond any expectations out there.”
Captain Tom – who was knighted in May following his fundraising efforts – said: “It is very kind of you and I am delighted to receive that honour especially from you. Thank you very much indeed.”
Asked by David about what makes a good leader, Captain Tom said: “I think you have to rather like people and realise there is good in everyone and as a leader you can bring it out of them.
“It is no good you asking me about a leader when you have been sitting there and you know you have been one of the biggest and finest leaders in football we have ever had.”
Captain Tom also recalled from from the first day he was conscripted at the age of 20, he had decided “that of all these 500 (new recruits) I am going to be the best”.
He added: “I worked on that throughout. I did get promotion and eventually I was sent to the officer training unit to become an officer.”