A pensioner pictured standing in a supermarket aisle stripped bare by panic buyers is 79-year-old retired seaman Anthony Glynn who was gallantly out buying for his desperate elder neighbours, MailOnline can reveal.

Mr Glynn had decided to defy government advice telling people over 70 with underlying health issues like him to remain in their homes because of coronavirus.

Despite having had heart bypass surgery and suffering from other ailments over the last two years, he was determined to try and buy toilet paper and other essentials for two ladies in their late 80s. 

Speaking from his home in Epsom, Mr Glynn said he was shocked when he saw the bare shelves in the supermarket, which left him seething with anger about the selfish way Brits have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

A pensioner pictured standing in a supermarket aisle stripped bare by panic buyers is 79-year-old retired seaman Anthony Glynn who was gallantly out buying for his desperate elder neighbours, MailOnline can reveal. Mr Glynn said he was squinting at the list because he had forgotten his glasses

A pensioner pictured standing in a supermarket aisle stripped bare by panic buyers is 79-year-old retired seaman Anthony Glynn who was gallantly out buying for his desperate elder neighbours, MailOnline can reveal. Mr Glynn said he was squinting at the list because he had forgotten his glasses

Mr Glynn (pictured with his wife of 51 year,s Maureen) had decided to defy government advice telling people over 70 with underlying health issues like him to remain in their homes because of coronavirus

Mr Glynn (pictured with his wife of 51 year,s Maureen) had decided to defy government advice telling people over 70 with underlying health issues like him to remain in their homes because of coronavirus

Despite having had heart bypass surgery and suffering from other ailments over the last two years, he was determined to try and buy toilet paper and other essentials for two ladies in their late 80s

Despite having had heart bypass surgery and suffering from other ailments over the last two years, he was determined to try and buy toilet paper and other essentials for two ladies in their late 80s

Standing in the desolated aisle squinting at a piece of paper he was holding, he said he was trying to read his shopping list but had left his glasses at home.

The devastating image of Mr Glynn, taken in a Sainsbury’s store in Epsom earlier this week, sparked nationwide sympathy and has become an iconic image of the cold-hearted panic buying currently engulfing the country.

In an exclusive interview with Mail Online Mr Glynn fumed: ‘It’s disgraceful how people in this country have become so selfish and are panic buying. 

‘We are in the middle of a national crisis, but everybody is just out for themselves. I was livid when I was in Sainsbury’s because it shows you what a greedy society we have become.

‘But that’s not how I was brought up and it’s not who I am. I wasn’t worried about going out because I have a lot of fight in me. I was just trying to help two ladies who are worse off than me. I don’t want any medals for this. It’s just basic human decency.’

Mr Glynn, who spent five years in the merchant navy, revealed he went shopping for his neighbours without telling them after they complained that they had visited the supermarket and returned empty handed.

An hour after the poignant image of him was taken, he turned up at their homes with Yorkshire tea, biscuits and cakes but was unable to buy any toilet paper or cleaning products. He refused to take any money from them.

Speaking from his home in Epsom, Mr Glynn (pictured with his wife and daughter Lizzie) said he was shocked when he saw the bare shelves in the supermarket, which left him seething with anger about the selfish way Brits have responded to the coronavirus pandemic

Speaking from his home in Epsom, Mr Glynn (pictured with his wife and daughter Lizzie) said he was shocked when he saw the bare shelves in the supermarket, which left him seething with anger about the selfish way Brits have responded to the coronavirus pandemic

Mr Glynn married Maureen in 1968 after the two met through local friends. The couple fondly recall their first date, which was a visit to a cinema to watch a film called ‘Go Naked into the World

Mr Glynn married Maureen in 1968 after the two met through local friends. The couple fondly recall their first date, which was a visit to a cinema to watch a film called ‘Go Naked into the World

His daughter Lizzie said: ‘He’s always helped other people and has always done a lot for our neighbours.’ Mr Glynn (above) married Maureen (above) in 1968 after the two met through local friends. The couple fondly recall their first date, which was a visit to a cinema to watch a film called ‘Go Naked into the World

Mr Glynn said: ‘These two ladies were absolutely delighted when I arrived with what little I managed to buy. It wasn’t very much but it made them very happy and reassured them that there’s somebody out there who cares for them.

‘It doesn’t take much to be nice to somebody at a time like this. Elderly people are really down at the moment, they’re struggling to get to the shops and buy food because so many things are sold out. We’ve all got to look out for each other, it’s as simple as that.’

Mr Glynn visited the store with his daughter Lizzie, 44, his only child, while his wife Maureen, 79, stayed at home.

He puts his gallant community spirit down to a ‘war time’ grit that he inherited from his parents and the fact that he was raised in a two-bedroom house with seven others. This included his three brothers, two uncles and parents.

Mr Glynn recalled: ‘We didn’t have much, but we all pulled together for each other. There were seven of us in a tiny prefabricated house and things were very hard in the post-war era. But we didn’t complain, we got on with our lives and when things were difficult, we didn’t panic buy.

‘I’ve carried that experience with me throughout my life. Sadly, there’s not much unity and community spirit in Britain anymore and in a time like this, it’s what we need.’

In an exclusive interview with Mail Online Mr Glynn fumed: ‘It’s disgraceful how people in this country have become so selfish and are panic buying (above). We are in the middle of a national crisis, but everybody is just out for themselves. I was livid when I was in Sainsbury’s because it shows you what a greedy society we have become'

In an exclusive interview with Mail Online Mr Glynn fumed: ‘It’s disgraceful how people in this country have become so selfish and are panic buying (above). We are in the middle of a national crisis, but everybody is just out for themselves. I was livid when I was in Sainsbury’s because it shows you what a greedy society we have become’

Mr Glynn said he went shopping for his neighbours without telling them after they complained that they had visited the supermarket and returned empty handed. An hour after the image was taken, he turned up at their homes with Yorkshire tea, biscuits and cakes but was unable to buy any toilet paper or cleaning products. He refused to take any money from them

Mr Glynn said he went shopping for his neighbours without telling them after they complained that they had visited the supermarket and returned empty handed. An hour after the image was taken, he turned up at their homes with Yorkshire tea, biscuits and cakes but was unable to buy any toilet paper or cleaning products. He refused to take any money from them

Mr Glynn conceded that he was somewhat embarrassed by the response to his picture, which also went viral and led to dozens of friends and relatives contacting him

Mr Glynn conceded that he was somewhat embarrassed by the response to his picture, which also went viral and led to dozens of friends and relatives contacting him

Mr Glynn conceded that he was somewhat embarrassed by the response to his picture, which also went viral and led to dozens of friends and relatives contacting him.

He admitted: ‘I don’t like the limelight, I’m not a big one for celebrations and making a fuss. I don’t use the internet but when my daughter showed me the picture and what people were saying about it, I couldn’t understand why they were getting so excited about.

‘I was just doing something that comes naturally to me.’

After leaving the merchant navy, Mr Glynn worked in a local car showroom and a garage and only retired last year, aged 78.

His daughter Lizzie said: ‘We call dad the old sea horse. Despite the medical problems he’s had, he’s got a lot of life and fight in him. If he had his way, he’d still be working.

‘He’s always helped other people and has always done a lot for our neighbours. A lot of people have been very moved by the picture of dad in Sainsbury’s but it doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s just who he is.’

Mr Glynn married Maureen in 1968 after the two met through local friends. The couple fondly recall their first date, which was a visit to a cinema to watch a film called ‘Go Naked into the World.’

He admitted: ‘I don’t like the limelight, I’m not a big one for celebrations and making a fuss. I don’t use the internet but when my daughter showed me the picture and what people were saying about it, I couldn’t understand why they were getting so excited about.' Pictured: Queues of panic buyers outside Waitrose

He admitted: ‘I don’t like the limelight, I’m not a big one for celebrations and making a fuss. I don’t use the internet but when my daughter showed me the picture and what people were saying about it, I couldn’t understand why they were getting so excited about.’ Pictured: Queues of panic buyers outside Waitrose

In a hard-hitting message to the nation, Mr Glynn proclaimed: ‘Stop panic buying (above) and stop being so bloody greedy. If you show some kindness and help people you will be rewarded in more ways than you can imagine'

In a hard-hitting message to the nation, Mr Glynn proclaimed: ‘Stop panic buying (above) and stop being so bloody greedy. If you show some kindness and help people you will be rewarded in more ways than you can imagine’

Maureen joked: ‘It was a terrible film, but it got me a wonderful husband. I’m very proud of him. A lot of people are making a big fuss about the picture of Anthony but for me it’s not a big deal. It’s just the kind of man he is.’

The couple are now helping to organise a neighbourhood group which will shop on behalf of elderly residents and drop food off to them.

In a hard-hitting message to the nation, Mr Glynn proclaimed: ‘Stop panic buying and stop being so bloody greedy. If you show some kindness and help people you will be rewarded in more ways than you can imagine.’



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