Sheffield's legendary 'Pram Man' reveals all about his royal appointment

Legendary Sheffield fundraiser John Burkhill has spilled the beans on his recent rendevous with royalty.

Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 1:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 6:28 pm
John was one of hundreds of Macmillan fundraisers and volunteers who met with Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

Known for his bright green wig and tireless fundraising campaign, the 'Pram Man' as he has become known was invited to Buckingham Palace last week.

There he was one of hundreds of guests at a reception celebrating those who fundraise and volunteer for cancer charity Macmillan.

John said he tried to get the Prince to don his famous green wig, but he politely declined.

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John, 79, said meeting Prince Charles was 'a tremendous honour'.

"He was a nice enough chap but I didn't manage to get him to put the wig on," he revealed.

"I met him and his mum at a garden party in 2006 but he didn't remember me."

"She is a nice lass for a southerner."

John said he tried to get the Prince to don his famous green wig, but he politely declined.

Prince Charles held the event in his role as the patron of Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity which helps cancer sufferers and their families.

As promised, John wore his trademark wig throughout the event.

"Prince Charles asked me how I kept going - I said bread and dripping," said John.

"He told me he liked bread and dripping as well."

As well as being invited to Buckingham Palace, John was also awarded the 'contribution to charity award' at the national Churchill Awards a day later.

There he was honoured alongside famous faces including David Jason, David Attenborough and Esther Rantzen.

Over the last two decades, John has run almost 1,000 races, including every Sheffield marathon since 1982 and was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2013.

During that time he has raised around £350,000 for Macmillan and says he is 'determined' to carry on until he reaches the £1 million mark.

"I don't see it as my achievement," he said, modestly.

"I just want to thank the people of Sheffield keeping shoving their money in my pram."

After starting off in the 1960s as a competitive distance walker, John became devoted to his charity work following the tragic deaths of his wife June and his daughter Karen.

A petition was recently launched to get John's name on a star outside Sheffield Town Hall - where the city's great and good are celebrated.

To donate to John's fund, visit