Together we will raise a million

John Burkhill
John Burkhill
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A lot of my many friends and fellow citizens of Yorkshire and especially all my many friends in my city of Sheffield, have asked me how I am doing in my aim to raise £1 millionfor Macmillan. Well, I will try to tell them.

When I first set out to raise £250,000 for Macmillan seven years ago by pushing a 55-year-old pram around the streets of Sheffield, people thought I was mad, hence the nickname, the Mad Man with the Pram.

But I knew from pushing that pram way back in the 1980s from such places as Cleethorpes, Skegness, Rhyl, York and Lincoln, all back to Sheffield, mainly to raise money for minibuses for special schools and for various charities, just what Yorkshire and Sheffield people could do.

I also pushed my pram in numerous races in Sheffield and Great North Runs and many, many more, too numerous to mention.

To date, I have managed to do 954 races and my ambition is to do 1,000. I will do it.

Many of you will remember where you were on Millennium night, perhaps at a party, watching the fireworks.

I well remember where I was, would you believe it, at a race at Belper in Derbyshire that started at 11.59pm and went from one century to another.

After finishing that, I went straight to Cleethorpes and did the first race of the new century.

Mad I may be, but I was very proud of that.

To get back to the quest to raise £1m for Macmillan and what drives me on?

How can one put into words when a young lad comes up to me and says: “My grandad is very poorly in hospital, but you’ll save him won’t you?” It is heartbreaking and that’s why I must go on and I know together we will raise that money.

It may take a few years, but time doesn’t matter, but getting to that million does.

People say to me that when I get the million, will I stop? The answer is and always will be, No, with a capital N.

I am a very, very lucky man that at 76 years old I can walk the distances I do and I am very proud that we are the only city in England that has a mad man with a pram and I am so proud to be that man, but I couldn’t do it without the support of the best people in the world, that’s my people of the greatest city in Yorkshire, Sheffield, thank you all so much. Together we will do it!

John Burkhill

The mad man with the pram