He’s raised hundreds of thousands for charity through collecting pennies - and now Sheffield legend John Burkhill needs the public’s help to share the incredible story.
The 77-year-old, known by many as the ‘Mad Man With The Pram’ for walking around the city in his trademark green wig to collect change, has put pen to paper to write his autobiography in a bid to reach his milestone of collecting £1 million for Macmillan.
But the charity needs help to print the book, and last night launched an online crowdfunding campaign in a bid to cover the £3,000 cost so that the book can be released later this year.
Steve Loane, area fundraising manager for Macmillan in South Yorkshire, said: “John is a total legend. For one person to raise that amount of money is unbelievable. Everyone in Sheffield knows him, loves him and will have seen him walking around the city in all weathers.
“John is an inspiration to so many and we want to make this happen for him.”
The Regional Magazine Company has written and designed the book - in which Richmond grandad John speaks of how he started fundraising after his wife June died of cancer, going on to raise £325,000 - for free.
Anyone who supports the crowdfunding campaign will receive various benefits, depending on how much they donate, ranging from a signed copy of the book to having their name printed inside.
Former lorry driver John, who was born in Darnall and has gone on to meet the Queen, carry the Olympic torch and receive a British Empire Medal, said: “I’m no writer, let’s get that straight but I had a couple of chapters written up and I was told it was good enough to be published.
“So I passed it on to Macmillan who asked Regional Magazine Company to help. I really appreciate their support, as it is fair to say, I’m no good with computers.
“I also didn’t want Macmillan to pay for it, this is one for the people, and I don’t want a penny of this for me, I want it all to go to Macmillan, because I’ve seen what they can do.
“There isn’t a family in Sheffield, a family in the country, that hasn’t been touched by cancer and for me Macmillan is the best at helping those families, no doubt about that, they are brilliant.”
To help John’s book appeal, businesses or individuals can make donations or take up sponsorship packages.
Donate online at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/madwalker