Mad Man With a Pram's call to Sheffield's football teams: Premier League is where you belong

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Sheffield's Mad Man With a Pram has expressed his desire to see both of Sheffield's football clubs to get back into the English Premier League.

John Burkhill, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity, has spoken out ahead of the first Steel City derby in five years, which takes place on Sunday.

Mr Burkhill, who can be seen walking around Sheffield every day in his distinctive green costume, said Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United belonged in the top flight.

He implored the players to work hard and secure promotion.

United last played in the Premiership in 2006-07, and Wednesday's last appearance was in the 1999-00 season.

Mr Burkhill, who is often walking near both Hillsborough and Bramall Lane in his quest to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, said he remembered the glory days well.

"Who can forget in the 1950s and 1960s, standing shoulder to shoulder, Blades and Owls fans on the Kop at Hillsborough," he said.,

"Watching the likes of Derek Dooley banging them in, and at the same time at the Lane, seeing the great Jimmy Hagan weaving his magic.

"Brilliant, happy days.

"The Star's feature on Blades fan Gary and his Owls mate Bill is spot on. That's how it should be, shoulder to shoulder together."

He said he never encountered any violence between the two groups of supporters.

"Banter, yes, violence, no," Mr Burkhill said.

He said he wanted the two Sheffield teams at the top, come the end of the season.

"Come on you players of the Blades and the Owls," Mr Burkhill said.

"Make history. Go up together as winners and runners-up in the Championship."

He wasn't concerned about in which order the teams finished.

"It doesn't matter which way, just do it," he said.

"Do it for me, do it for the best fans in the country, but most of all, do it for Sheffield.

"Let's hear the Greasy Chip Butty song and Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday sung in the Premiership all over the country," he said.

"Come on, lads. Do it for us old uns pushing 80. You can do it.

"Up the Blades. Up the Owls."