Secret birthday card appeal launched for legendary '˜Man with the Pram'

An appeal to help legendary fundraiser John Burkhill celebrate his 80th birthday with cards from those living in Sheffield has been launched.Â

Friday, 7th December 2018, 10:25 am
Updated Friday, 7th December 2018, 10:30 am
John Burkhill mad man with the pram

Dressed in green clothes and a bright wig, the '˜Man with the Pram' has become a familiar sight for many over the decades, fundraising tirelessly for Macmillan Cancer Support.

After starting off in the 1960s as a competitive distance walker, John, 79, became devoted to the charity following the tragic death of his wife June and his daughter Karen a year later.

John will turn 80 in January

Having raised around £750,000 so far he says he is '˜determined' to keep racing and walking round the city until he reaches his target of £1 million. 

Sheffield Wednesday fan John has also been awarded for his fundraising efforts, receiving the '˜contribution to charity' award at the national Churchill Awards, and in 2013 was awarded the British Empire Medal.

And, for his 75th birthday he was given the Douglas Macmillan Awards by his charity for his contribution.

Now, ahead of his 80th birthday on January 4, The Sheffield Star have joined forces with BBC Radio Sheffield to get as many people as possible to send John a birthday card.

However, the appeal is to be kept secret from John, before a surprise party which will be held at the Town Hall, where he will be presented all the cards that have been gathered.

As John reads The Sheffield Star daily, the appeal will not appear in print, therefore we are solely using the power of social media to spread the message. 

Anyone that wishes to send John a special happy birthday message should send their card to BBC Radio Sheffield at 54 Shoreham Street, Sheffield S1 4RS. 

For more information on John's fundraising or to donate visit