Renewed appeal to see Sheffield’s Man with the Pram honoured with star outside Town Hall

John Burkhill, Sheffield's famous fundraiser 'Man With A Pram' at a surprise celebration to mark his 80th birthday
John Burkhill, Sheffield's famous fundraiser 'Man With A Pram' at a surprise celebration to mark his 80th birthday

A friend of Sheffield's Man with the Pram has renewed an appeal to see the legendary fundraiser honoured with a star outside the Town Hall.

The Sheffield Legends walk of fame, which is situated on the pavement outside Town Hall, honours famous people from or connected to Sheffield.

John Burkhill with Lord Mayor Magid Magid

John Burkhill with Lord Mayor Magid Magid

Tam Curran made the fresh appeal following John’s 80th birthday, calling on the legendary fundraiser to be recognised alongside the likes of Olympic athlete Dame Jessica Ennis, astronaut Helen Sharman and actor Sean Bean.

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In recent years, various petitions have been set up calling on the council to recognise John with a star, but despite backing from those in the city he has not been bestowed the honour.

Tam said: “John doesn’t like the publicity, he does it because he loves it. He always says that if anybody puts at least a penny in his bucket then that is a penny more than Macmillan had the day before.

John Burkhill, known as the Man with the Pram

John Burkhill, known as the Man with the Pram

“He has raised the profile of Sheffield, and has received honours from the Queen and Prince Charles. He has been recognised nationally, yet the council won’t honour him in Sheffield. It has been going on for a number of years and we just keep getting denials.”

The council say nominations for the Sheffield Legends are considered by an independent selection board, and recognise those who have achieved national or international acclaim. 

Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Magid Magid said: “Seeing the huge citywide support for John at his surprise 80th birthday celebration last week goes to show how much he is loved by Sheffielders and we are all very proud of his achievements.

“Sheffield Legends were set up to honour those who have achieved national or international acclaim.

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“Nominations are considered by an independent selection board representing various sectors across the city -  the arts, sport, education, media and business and is chaired by the Lord Mayor. 

“Members of the public are asked to submit their nominations. The independent panel assess all the nominations and make a recommendation accordingly. 

“Alongside the Sheffield Legend awards we honour our local heroes with the Lord Mayor’s Civic Awards. 

“These were  launched to recognise the invaluable work carried out by local stalwarts of the community who have contributed so much to life in the city through charity work, in schools, sports clubs and a wide range of organisations or simply as an individual.

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“ Civic Award nominations are assessed by the Lord Mayor and senior members. A Civic Reception is then held in the Town Hall for the successful nominees, their family and friends with a personal ‘thank you’ from Sheffield’s Lord Mayor, Leader of the Council and Chief Executive. 

“John Burkhill was, of course, amongst those to receive the Lord Mayor’s Civic Award at the very first ceremony in December 2015.  

“John’s tireless efforts were also recognised when he switched on the Christmas Lights in Sheffield City Centre with a host of celebrities, and he was amongst the lucky few who were invited to join the Lord Mayor at the royal lunch during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Sheffield in 2015.

“It’s people like John who make Sheffield such a great place and I am humbled to have witnessed his selfless work during my year in office.”

John, became devoted to the Macmillan Cancer Support following the tragic death of his wife June and his daughter Karen a year later.

He is regularly seen wearing his trademark green wig and pushing a pram and has completed more than 1,000 races, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity. 

In 2013 he was awarded the British Empire Medal.

For more information about Sheffield Legends visit the council website.