'Man with the Pram' pledges to reach £1m target once pandemic is over

  • ITV Calendar's Adam Fowler reports.

Over the last three decades, the locally known 'Man With The Pram' has taken part in more than a thousand events, has raised hundreds of thousands for charity and is a local hero, but in 2020 he was mostly forced to self isolate.

Today (07 January), John Burkhill was given his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. He says he is hoping it will be the first step on the road back to "normality".

"I didn't even feel it, no problem at all. I mean, you've got to have it done because it's an invisible thing you're fighting and we've got to lick it and the only way to lick it is everybody has it done, because you don't know who's got it, you don't know who's spreading it about.

"Anyone who's frightened, nothing to be frightened of, it's very simple no problem at all."

John said he would have done up thirty events last year, raising money for Macmillan but the 82-year-old also misses donning the green wig and visiting care homes.

He said: "I call in to care homes and they love to see this man with the pram and they love to take photos and that, hundreds of photos, I took the olympic torch round which I carried. 

"They're very frustrated and I have unfortunately lost a lot of friends in the last three or four months you know what I mean it really is very difficult, very difficult."

John has raised around £800,000 during his fundraising career.  He's now got one thing on his mind, for when he's fully vaccinated.

"I've got to get back out there and I've got to raise that million quid.  I mean, I've got to raise that million quid.  I've set me heart on it and I've got to get it raised, no matter what."

John may have been indoors for most of the last year, as soon as he can though he says he will be bringing his "own brand of positivity" back to the streets of Sheffield.