Simon Cowell chokes back tears as he pays tribute to grieving dad at charity ball

Simon Cowell choked back tears as he paid tribute to a grieving father during a moving speech.

The television personality and record executive spoke at theTogether For Short LivesBall on Tuesday night, which aimed to raise at least £300,000 to allow families caring for children with life limiting conditions make the most of the time they have together.

Among those who have been helped by the charity are NHS nurse Adam and his wife, who lost their young daughter Emily to Rett syndrome a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development.

After Adam gave a moving tribute to his daughter's short but joyful life, Simon applauded his courage, and began to choke back tears as he did so.

In a video shared by attendee Janette Manrara, Simon said before choking up: “The courage to say what you just said is remarkable and I say that as a dad."

After composing himself, the father-of-one continued: “First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has attended tonight because what I have realised, and I think fundraisers have realised, actually just getting someone to turn up for one of these events is becoming harder and harder and harder.

"The fact you're here to show people like this gentleman that you care means everything so I want to actually ask you to give yourself a round of applause."

The 62 year old then added: "It's the hardest job in the world what this charity does, and every single day they hustle and they care.

"For everyone here tonight, a sincere thank you. Let's do what we're here to do. Let's raise as much money as we possibly can. Let's tell all of our friends about the work this charity does and let's remember what this charity does. As I said, Adam said more than I can say, so respect."

Simon is a longstanding supporter of the charity, for which he acts as patron. Indeed last year he made headlines by donating the £1 million fee he was paid to star in Marks & Spencer's adverts to the charity.

Following his generosity, M&S proceeded to continue to work with the charity with a series of fundraising initiatives.

The company now donates a percentage of sales from Christmas-themed sandwiches to Together For Short Lives.

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