Sheffield's 'Mad Man With The Pram' completes 25th Great North Run aged 78

Sheffield's 'Mad Man With The Pram' has completed his 25th consecutive Great North Run aged 78.

Monday, 11th September 2017, 2:05 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 4:14 pm
John Burkhill with his familiar green wig after completing the Great North Run

The tireless fundraiser, who wanders the streets with his green wig and pram collecting money for Macmillan Cancer Support, has notched up nearly 330 miles over the years at the famous half-marathon in Newcastle.

This year, John nearly ended the race with a passenger after jokingly telling a flagging co-runner he could hop into the pram for a lift.

John on the course

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"I've run it so many times I don't think anything of it but a few of the charity runners were really struggling," he said.

"I told them 'hold onto the pram, you'll be alright' and then I said to one person 'get in the pram'. Luckily he didn't take me up on the offer."

John originally ran the race without his distinctive pram but has been pushing it around the course, collecting donations as he goes, on his last dozen appearances.

Many runners will have been nursing aching muscles and blisters this morning, but John said he felt 'absolutely fine' following his exertions.

John on the course

He started collection for Macmillan after his wife June died of cancer, and he is already more than halfway towards his £1 million target.

His total was recently bolstered by a £9,000 contribution from Rangers fans, who donated the money after a handful of the club's supporters verbally abused John outside Hillsborough this summer.

John, from Handsworth, is affectionately known as the 'Mad Man With The Pram', a nickname he recently said he was proud to hold after a petition was launched to stop people labelling him 'mad'.

You can donate to Macmillan via John's fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/madwalker.