Sheffield’s mad man with a pram’s birthday challenge

Well-known Sheffield fundraiser John Burkhill will walk 11 miles across the city on his 77th birthday – pushing his pram of course.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st December 2015, 5:46 am
John Burkhill
John Burkhill

The ‘mad man with a pram’ – who walks the streets of Sheffield in a green wig, pushing a pram almost every day to collect cash – will embark on the challenge as part of his efforts to raise £1 million for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Grandad John, of Richmond, set out to raise the cash after his wife June died in 1992 from cancer and he wanted to give back to the charity.

The 76-year-old is calling for Sheffielders to come out and support him on his walk across the city on January 4, which will follow the old Star Walk route.

The Star Walk was one of the highlights of the Sheffield calendar. The annual road race, held between 1922 and 2000, attracted thousands of contestants who competed to be named Sheffield’s fastest walker over an agonising 11 miles.

Now John will follow the route starting from High Street in the city centre at 10am and finishing at Owlerton Stadium, passing through Hillsborough, Grenoside, and Ecclesfield.

His fundraising journey so far has seen the 75-year-old – famed for wearing a green wig – meet the Queen, receive a British Empire Medal and carry the Olympic Torch as it journeyed around Britain in the run-up to the London 2012 Games.

Charity chiefs at Macmillan say he raised £30,000 in 2014 alone.

John entered The Star Walk in 1967 – his very first race. Over the years he said he has taken part in over 955 races including marathons but the Star Walk holds a very special place in his heart.

John said: “I will be out once again with my pram doing the old Star Walk one last time. I hope that anyone who sees me on the course will give Sheffield’s ‘mad man with a pram’ a shout and a wave.”