Veteran fundraiser to run Sheffield’s new half marathon to raise more cash

GREENrc''John Burkhill
GREENrc''John Burkhill

Veteran fundraiser John Burkhill - the man with the pram - has signed up to run Sheffield’s new half marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support.

John, aged 76, from Richmond, is known for pounding the streets of Sheffield dressed in a green wig and pushing a pram collecting cash donations on his way.

John Burkhill 'the man with the pram' is to run Sheffied's new half marathon for Macmillan

John Burkhill 'the man with the pram' is to run Sheffied's new half marathon for Macmillan

In April he plans to taken part in the brand new Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon to boost the amount he has already raised.

Over the years he has taken part in more than 900 races and raised £250,000 for Macmillan.

He said: “This one will be a test for a lot of people as it’s very hilly but the scenery going out towards the Peak District will be something special.”

John has raised money for charity for over four decades and has run every previous half marathon in the city – but said there is one which sticks in his mind.

“Back in 1995, one little girl on Ecclesall Road shouted ‘hey Mr green man, can I put some money in your bucket?’ he said.

“I said yes and she started putting money in but I looked down and she had this huge bag of pennies and started to put them in one by one counting them as she went as runners streamed past me. I ended up having a couple of cups of coffee with her mum and dad at the side of the road whilst she put the money in.”

John stepped up his fundraising following the death of his wife June in 1992.

Before she died she fulfilled a wish to accompany John around the Sheffield marathon course.

“It was an emotional day,” said John.

“I pushed June round the course which was extremely tough, but as I entered Don Valley Stadium, the runners who had finished lined the course to welcome me in.

“The crowd were on their feet clapping, June and myself were overwhelmed.”

John praised the generosity of Sheffielders.

“The Sheffield folk are the best in the world, all types of people put money in my bucket when I’m walking around the city – even the homeless put what they can spare in, it’s truly humbling,” he said.

“There was one young boy several years ago put money in my bucket and he asked me to save his granddad from his cancer.

“Things like that which keep me going.”