VIDEO: ‘This honour is for Sheffield’

Legendary charity walker John Burkhill was presented with his British Empire Medal - and promptly dedicated it to the people of Sheffield.

The 74-year-old said it had been a ‘marvellous day’ after the ceremony at Sheffield Town Hall yesterday.

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

John, affectionately known as the ‘mad man with the pram’ for his daily walks around the city in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, kept friends and family laughing with jokes during the short presentation.

Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, David Moody, who presented John with the medal on behalf of the Queen, said he was a ‘single- minded, dedicated and highly effective fundraiser and PR merchant of the first order’.

John, who wore his trademark green wig and Macmillan T-shirt for the ceremony, said continued inspiration came from his brother Les, who is currently in the palliative unit at the Northern General Hospital with cancer.

John added: “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.”

The British Empire Medal recognises meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the crown.

John, of Richmond, has raised £230,000 for Macmillan with his fundraising over the years.

He said: “This quarter of a million pounds seemed like an impossible dream for an old man like me but it’s not, because it worked and has inspired thousands of other people to fundraise.”

John’s grandson Danny Burkhill, 20, added: “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.

“Our family will never get one of these again.”