Charity walker John says BEM is ‘for Sheffield’

John Burkhill receives BEM at Sheffield Town Hall from the Lord Lieut of South Yorks David Moody and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Vickie Priestley
John Burkhill receives BEM at Sheffield Town Hall from the Lord Lieut of South Yorks David Moody and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Vickie Priestley
0
Have your say

Wearing his familiar green wig and Macmillan t-shirt, Sheffield charity walker John Burkhill pushed his pram to the town hall this week to receive the British Empire Medal.

It was recognition of the £230,000 ‘the mad man with the pram’ has raised on his travels over the years for Macmillan Cancer Support.

He has set himself a target of £250,000 in memory of his late wife, June, who died from cancer, aged 55. A year later their daughter Karen died at the age of 29 during a routine operation.

On behalf of the Queen, the 74-year-old, who lives in Richmond, was presented with the BEM on Tuesday by the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, David Moody, who described him as “a single- minded, dedicated and highly effective fundraiser and PR merchant of the first order”.

John said continued inspiration came from his brother, Les, who is in the palliative unit at the Northern General Hospital. “That’s why I can’t stop the fundraising. The medal is dedicated to the people of Sheffield as much as it is for me. It’s been a marvellous day, I don’t think you can ever top something like this.”

As well as being a familiar figure on the streets, John has taken part in many marathons and other runs.

John’s grandson Danny Burkhill, 20, said: “We are all so proud of him. I love saying he is my grandad. I know he is a Wednesday fan, but that’s not his fault.”