"I'll be back!" says Derbyshire strongman balancing legend

An Ilkeston grandad who is famous around the world for balancing a car on his head is back on the road after recovering from an angina attack

By Kevin Rogers
Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 4:25 pm
Ilkeston strong man John Evans
Ilkeston strong man John Evans

John Evans is back on the road with his gravity defying feats of strength after recovering from an angina attack .

John, 72 holds 94 world records for his bizarre balancing prowess, raising more than £250,000 for charity in the process

Stunts like walking 88 feet whilst carrying 140 tins of pet food on a board perched on top of his head became his stock in trade.

Ilkeston strong man John Evans

But earlier this year he was preparing to call time on the career which has taken him around the world , including appearances on the iconic US Jay Leno show.

He said: “In March I contacted my doctor as I was having chest pains and problems breathing.

“The ambulance came and they put me on an ECG.

“It showed up an irregularity so they took me into hospital where I was diagnosed with angina and an atrial flutter in my heart.

“I came away with new pills to thin my blood and that knocked me for six.

“It made me feel terrible and slow.

“I could hardly walk.

“This carried on for about three weeks and I thought I was finished,”

John said he cancelled all his remaining shows.

He said: “I thought ‘there’s no way I can continue doing this’.

“I cancelled because the events would need time to book someone else and I had to give them a few months notice.

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to carry on.

“It was the last thing I wanted to do because it is a big part of my life. I enjoy it.”

He even got rid of his beloved mini car which he could balance on his head formed a centrepiece of his act.

He added; “A couple of weeks afterwards I was walking around the house and getting used to the tablets and went back to going to the shops. I began to feel a lot better.”“I started to feel more like my old self.

“I was working around the house again as normal so I started practicing my head balancing and found that I was OK.

“So I designed a show which is a bit easier and I managed to do just two small shows this year.

His new shows involve balancing 10 car tyres, 20 plastic tables or a 120 kilo golf cart on his head.

“These are things nobody else can do,” said John.

“I am still balancing 15 stones when in my prime it would have been 30 stones of bricks.

“I am still the man recognised around the world for doing what I do.”

When John was 18 he developed his phenomenal strength working as a brickie.

“I used to stack 24 bricks on some floor board and run up ladders for about five years so this became natural to me, he explained.

“Then I went on to become builder myself. About 30 years ago he became inspired by olympic strong man Geoff Capes squeeze 24 bricks on his chest.

“I got to thinking balancing bricks on my head would be better so I balanced 36 bricks on my head, ”said John.

Local papers covered his feats, which he did for charity and became ever more bizarre and heavier, including balancing bunk beds, wardrobes and washing machines.

In the last 28 years he has raised more than £250,000 for charity, achieving 94 world records. His abilities have seen him travelling the world, performing in Japan and China several times.

He added: “I have a good feeling for 2020 and I will keep practicing to keep my strength up.“I am still up to do charity events and if any of your business readers give me a challenge and are willing to donate to one of my chosen charities I am definitely up for it.”