Sheffield 'Man with the Pram' John Burkhill stars in film about his bid to raise £1 million for charity

Sheffield’s famous Man with the Pram, charity fundraiser John Burkhill, turned up at a city centre cinema in his trademark green wig to see a film that has been made about his inspiring story.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 7:00 am

One in a Million, made by Sheffield film-makers Matt Exton and Sean Lovell, was premiered at the Showroom Cinema.

It tells the story of John, aged 82, from Handsworth, who has worked for three decades to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, pushing his pram around more than 1,000 long-distance walks and marathons.

The film tells John’s story and his determination to raise £1 million in memory of his wife June, who died from cancer.

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John Burkhill at the film preview at the Showroom Cinema

John is already well on the way to his target, having raised more than £800,000. Last month he completed his 25th Great North Run.

Speaking before the film, John said: “I’ve been fine. I’ve had all the tests and stuff. I’ve managed to get out and do a bit of training. I’ve been sad that I can’t high five the kids, which they’ve been asking for.”

“The Queen, she’s a nice lass”

He added: “The people of Sheffield are my people. It takes me a long time to get round these races. They want high fives, they want this, that and the other, they come and talk to you, you can’t ignore them. One of these times I’m going to finish when the epilogue’s on!”

John Burkhill, pictured with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Gail Smith

John said: “The question I’ve been asked a lot of times is who is the most important person you’ve ever met? When all's said and done you can’t get higher than the Queen, she’s a nice lass, and if she was in Sheffield I’d say that to her.

“When they were asking me that, an old lady put some money into the bucket. That’s the most important person, she probably hasn’t got two ha’pennies for a penny yet she shoves it in a bucket.

“And so are the kids, the happiness on their faces when they have these high fives. You’ve just got to listen to them, it’s marvellous. It brings tears to my eyes.”

John, who has been awarded the Freedom of Sheffield and two British Empire Medals, was presented with a new bar to his medal by Lord Mayor Coun Gail Smith.

To donate to John's appeal, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/madwalker.