Sheffield ‘Mad man with the pram’ to receive British Empire Medal

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HE IS a familiar sight on the streets of Sheffield, walking miles around the city with his pushchair.

And now Macmillan Cancer Support’s fundraiser John Burk-hill – affectionately known as the “mad man with the pram” – is to be honoured with a British Empire Medal medal in his home city.

The medal, awarded to those who give a “civil service worthy of recognition by the crown”, will be presented in a ceremony tomorrow afternoon.

Mr Burkhill, 74, has dedicated his life to fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support after losing his wife, June, to cancer and his daughter, Karen, during a routine operation.

During the last 20 years, he has competed in 892 races, including the London marathon 19 times and both the Great Yorkshire Run and Sheffield Half Marathon. In 2012 alone, he raised more than £35,000. His current total has now passed £200,000, edging ever closer to his £250,000 target.

In recognition of his efforts, last year he was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through Chapeltown, Sheffield.

He said: “I still can’t quite believe that this is happening to me. It’s not just me though, this award is for everyone who has supported me.

“I want to share this honour with the people of Sheffield, as it wouldn’t be possible without them. I always say it, the people of Sheffield are the best in the world. Their generosity has made it all possible.

“They’ve changed my life and the lives of others through giving money to Macmillan.”

The British Empire Medal will be presented by the Lord-Lieutenant for South Yorkshire, David Moody.

He said: “It’s great that John’s efforts are being recognised in such a fitting way, and let’s hope it will inspire him for his next big push to his £250000 target.”

Rob Turner, fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “It’s great to see such a selfless fundraiser receive a reward like this. He’s out there in all weather 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and doesn’t ask for anything back.

“I know he is keen to share this with his hometown and I hope people will join us on the Town Hall steps to applaud the honour.”

The public are invited to join Mr Burkhill on the steps of Sheffield Town Hall at 4.15pm tomorrow to mark his achievement.

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