Sheffield’s ‘Pram Man’ John Burkhill reaches ‘Magic Million’ for Macmillan
25 May 2023
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25 May 2023
One of Sheffield’s most famous fundraisers, John ‘the man with the pram’ Burkhill, has reached his £𝟏𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 target for MacMillan Cancer Support.
John, 84 from Haworth, has been an iconic figure in many Run For All events over the years, joining us in Sheffield, Leeds, and York on many occasions.
John has been fundraising for Macmillan since 2007 when he initially set a target of £250,000 for the charity. His attention soon turned to the ‘magic million’ mark in 2013 after reaching a quarter-of-a-million pounds.
Inspired by the loss of his wife June to cancer just a year after having lost their daughter Karen during a routine procedure, John has partaken in 1,038 races in his life – pushing his late daughter’s pram along the way and collecting donations.
John said: “I’m honestly lost for words. I’m truly humbled by it all and blown away. People have said I’m a ‘hero’ and legend, but those people who have put money in the bucket and donated, they are the heroes."
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. They all might think I’m a bit daft, in the nicest possible way, but they got right behind what I’m trying to do for those affected by cancer.”
Cutting a distinctive figure in his green wig and sporting a giant foam hand, John has brought smiles to people’s faces wherever he goes.
And, despite reaching his dream target, John has no plans to slow down or even stop. “I’ll keep going,” he said. “People have always asked me what I’ll do when I get there, but I’ve got to carry on.
“I know it’s a bit daft, but when I’m shoving that pram, both my daughter and wife are still with me. They keep me going. As long as I can put one foot in front of the other, I’ll keep going.”
John was chosen to receive the British Empire Medal for his services to charity in 2013 and a second bar for the medal was awarded to John in 2021. He also received the Douglas Macmillan award for his services to Macmillan Cancer Support in 2013 and was recognised with a British Citizens Award for services to charitable giving in January 2023.
Gemma Peters, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are immensely proud of John and so grateful for his incredible effort over the last 15 years to achieve his ambition of raising £1million for Macmillan Cancer Support. It is difficult to put into words just how phenomenal this achievement is, as John embodies everything that is good in humanity."
"He is selfless beyond measure, having overcome such personal tragedy, and has put everybody else first before himself. John really has done whatever it takes for people living with cancer in trekking across the city most days, whatever the weather, and taking part in countless races across country pushing his late daughter’s pram. We thank you, John, from the bottom of our hearts.”
Plans are currently being finalised for a celebration event to thank John for his incredible achievement.