Pram man’s tears as he is handed torch honour

John Burkhill

John Burkhill

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‘Mad Man with the Pram’ John Burkhill wept for joy when he was told he had been selected to carry the Olympic torch through Sheffield.

The 73-year-old, from Richmond, who has become one of the city’s best-known characters, famous for his green wig and pram, will carry the flame through Chapeltown on Monday June 25.

John, who has raised more than £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support on his walks around the city and further afield, was backed by more than 1,300 people who signed a petition calling for him to be given the honour.

John told The Star today: “To be part of history is something I can not put into words.

“I am not ashamed to say I cried when I found out – tears of happiness that an ordinary Sheffielder like me could be chosen.”

John devoted his life to fundraising for Macmillan after his wife June lost her battle with cancer, and aims to raise £250,000 for the charity.

He has now pledged to walk 1,000 miles through every district in Sheffield, as a thank you to the people who nominated him as a torch carrier.

“We have the best people in the country here in Sheffield,” he said. “This is my way of saying thank you.”

John will set off on his walk on Monday, departing from the Town Hall at 10am, and aims to walk 15 miles a day until he has reached his 1,000- mile target.

He added: “I thank each and every one who signed the petition.”