Head-balancing British strongman on record mission for 75th birthday

ILKESTON, England (Reuters) - Dressed in a Santa costume in his garden, British strongman John Evans balances a large chimney on his head.

Having previously tackled bricks, milk crates and even cars, the 74-year-old is on a mission: to secure 100 world records for his head balancing feats by his next birthday in March.

“I’ve got one eye, I’m a diabetic, I’ve got asthma, I‘ve got angina and after all is said and done I’ve got 98 world records,” Evans told Reuters.

“This one (the chimney) ... will be hopefully my 99th world record and then coming up to my 75th birthday, I’m having a big five foot by five foot (1.52m x 1.52m) crown made and I’m going to balance that on my head and it will be my 100th world record.”

Evans, who lives in the central English county of Derbyshire, discovered his talent as a teenager working on building sites.

“I was about 17, 18. I used to carry bricks on my head on a board ... taking 24 bricks on my head up ladders,” he said.

“When I was about 42, I got asked to do some sort of charity event...I balanced a few bricks on my made huge press.”

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Evans has since travelled the world balancing water kegs, pints of beer, cement mixers, a fridge, a quad bike and famously a stripped-out Mini on his head.

“The Mini has been all over the world. I’ve done the Mini in Hollywood, I’ve done it in China, I’ve done it in Paris,” he said, holding a Guinness World Record certificate for balancing the car during a television show in France.

“It was 357 pounds (162 kg) and I managed to balance it ... for 20 seconds on my head ... if that had gone wrong, it would have killed me.”

Evans, whose accomplishments have been recognised by Guinness World Records and Record Holders Republic, has raised more than 250,000 pounds ($331,225) for charity through his acts. ($1 = 0.7548 pounds)

Reporting by Ben Makori; writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Mark Heinrich