HE’S more used to the clatter of copper and change than being weighed down by wads of cash – but Sheffield’s mad man with a pram had to make special room in his bucket for one generous donation.
John Burkhill, who pounds the city streets collecting money for Macmillan Cancer Support, was stopped in his tracks when widower Bill Hawcroft, aged 84, approached him in the street armed with £5,000 in cash.
The cash was one of the biggest single donations John has ever received on his quest to raise £250,000 for the charity.
Bill, who lives in the city centre, had been saving since losing his wife Shirley, 65, to cancer six years ago.
Stunned John, aged 73, said: “He just came up to me when I was in Castle Market with £5,000 in £20 notes. I cried, I can’t believe it. I’ve only met him before once, you meet so many, but I was amazed when he came up to me.
“It’s one of the biggest donations I’ve ever had off someone. There’s a lot of businesses who support what I do but for someone to do that on their own – it was such a shock.
A policeman escorted John and Bill in the street as he carried the money, before it was banked with Macmillan.
Bill said: “My wife and I used to spend just under £1,000 every year on a holiday, but I haven’t been away since she died.
“It was just us two, so I’ve nobody to leave it to. I went into town and found out when he’d be there in the afternoon so I could give the money to him.
“I see John out and about and in the papers and I admire what he is doing and I wanted to help him on the way to reaching the £250,000 target. I hope I’ve done something to help.”