Looking for Jimmy Burns

My name is Vasco Manuel Magalhães Teixeira and I live in Portugal. I have been an Evertonian since I was 15 years old... I wanted to write this to thank a man called Jimmy Burns.

John Burns 15/03/2023 10comments  |  Jump to last

I don’t think any of us go first to the Official Everton Website looking for news about the Blues.  I seldom do. However, yesterday I was flicking through 'NewsNow Everton' and accidentally clicked a link to the Official site.  So glad I did.  On the front page, the heading read, ‘Looking for Jimmy Burns’.  It continued:

“My name is Vasco Manuel Magalhães Teixeira and I live in Portugal. I have been an Evertonian since I was 15 years old... I'm 53 now. I quite regularly get to Goodison to watch my beloved Blues.

I wanted to write this to thank a man called Jimmy Burns.

Jimmy, who must be 60 or perhaps a little older now, has been a friend of mine since I was 18. He's a big reason why I fell in love with Everton in the first place.

He wrote some small books about Everton that I bought and, as soon as he found out about my love for Everton over here in Portugal, he would send me copies of the When Skies Are Grey fanzine and Liverpool Echo newspapers every week or two. I loved it. I couldn't get enough and so I ended up subscribing to The Evertonian when it was the newspaper format, too.

After keeping in touch via mail, I remember the first time we met up in person.

I'd flown into London and then took a train up to Liverpool for the match. Jimmy was there waiting to meet me at Lime Street Station and he showed me some new places. He took me to his regular pub, where he bought me more than a couple of pints of Guinness! Then, after the match, he helped me get back to the train station as I needed to get back to London to fly home.

We maintained contact for many years, even exchanged Christmas cards, but then, as time went on and everything moved online, we ended up losing touch.

I haven't seen him for around 10 to 15 years now. The last time we met was by complete coincidence, too.

I was over in Liverpool for a game with my now ex-wife and my two sons. I had tried to reach out to Jimmy to no avail. My family and I had jumped on a bus from the city centre to Goodison and who should jump on at another stop? Jimmy! It was fantastic to see him and catch up.

After reading My Everton #45: Making Front-Page News by Bill Mangan and seeing two supporters reunite after such a long time away from each other, I felt inspired to write this as I'd love to catch up again properly.

If it's not to be, let this serve as a thank you for all you have done for me over the years.

You're a great man, Jimmy!

Jimmy Burns was my cousin and the most fanatical Evertonian I have known. He loved blue and hated red.   Playing football as kids, he wouldn’t wear a kit with even a smidgen of red.   He wouldn’t even eat tomatoes!   

He was a season ticket holder in Gwladys Street and then latterly in the Park End.  He travelled all over the country to watch the Blues. Often, he would hitchhike, in all weathers, and I can’t ever remember him wearing a coat.    

Naturally he was in Rotterdam in 1985 for the European Cup-Winner’s Cup Final.  There was no chance of him missing that one,  I even think I saw a photo of him and his mate in a park where they actually slept one night. As I said, fanatic.

He never liked Walter Smith as manager.  He told me the story of coming home after an Ipswich defeat and being gridlocked on the motorway.   He was in the front passenger seat of his mate’s car, still seething about another abysmal performance, when he noticed the returning Everton coach also gridlocked. It was about fifty yards further up the road. 

Without a word to his friends, he got out and marched up the motorway to the coach.  Archie Knox was standing looking up the motorway on the step of the open-door. He was looking to see where the trouble was.  Archie, you were looking in the wrong direction…   

Jimmy arrived from behind and said, “Excuse me”, and proceeded to get on the coach with the intent to tell Walter what just exactly what he thought.  Fortunately,  Archie (without baseball bat!) quickly gained his senses, grabbed Jimmy and escorted him off. The coach door promptly closed.  Jimmy returned to the car where his mates, could only watch, mouths open and shaking their heads.  That was our Jimmy!

I remember Jimmy talking about his Portuguese friend Vasco and other Evertonian friends over the world.  He told me how he sent them copies of the Pink Echo, so they could stay in touch with the beloved Blues.   The Pink was probably the nearest thing to the colour red he touched.

Jimmy died in 2017.  After seeing the article, Jim’s brother Rob, got in touch with Everton for Vasco’s contact details.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have them.   Hopefully Vasco reads ToffeeWeb, where Jim used to contribute often to the letters section. 

I’m sorry for the sad news, Vasco,  but Jimmy would have been so pleased you hadn’t forgotten him and after all these years tried to find him. 

Deus o abencoe






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Reader Comments (10)

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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 16/03/2023 at 07:32:57
A nice story about 3 proper Evertonians, yourself included, John.
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 16/03/2023 at 09:15:28
Heartwarming story. Dedication of the highest order to follow the blues from Portugal. Similar age to me, so will have seen the good times alongside the trauma of what followed and exists. Respect.

On tomatoes. I like tomatoes, but always pick green chillies and green peppers over red ones. I'm not sure if that is deliberate or subconscious.

Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 16/03/2023 at 11:05:10
I had a mate, Joey Lynch, from the Four Squares, lived for Everton. He wouldn't eat tomatoes or drink red rum. He had a season ticket but never used it when we played Liverpool at Goodison Park. Joey used to curse me if I praised anything to do with Liverpool or their players.

The best of Evertonians, Joey died in his early thirties and I often think about him, especially when I think of Kenwright because Joey wouldn't hear a word said against anything about Everton FC. Joey wasn't daft though and I think he would have made an exception where Kenwright was concerned.

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 16/03/2023 at 16:04:14
Probably not the same one but I used to know a Jimmy Burns, lived in Speke and used to go away to sea, but lost touch many, many years ago.

He used to say that there were only two sorts of Ship's Captains: those who were there when you didn't want them… and those who weren't when you did.

He once sorted out a fight in Indonesia between a galley lad and a big local who he was chasing down the gangway when two local police came around the corner and took a shot at him. Jimmy then locked himself in his cabin until well out to sea, even with his gunshot wound.

Gerry Morrison
5 Posted 16/03/2023 at 19:15:37
Jimmy was a good friend of mine and he is missed. He grew up in Fazakerley and then moved out to Southport.

When I was younger, I used to stand with him at the match, and when I moved away, he kept me in touch with all things Everton.

I lived in Central America for a while and even in the middle of nowhere, the Pink Echo would reach me, usually a few weeks late, with news of Everton courtesy of Jimmy. Jimmy performed this service for Evertonians all over the world.

Jimmy Burns, one in a million.

Tom Hughes
6 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:37:43
Alan #4,

I think I knew the Jimmy Burns you mention. He was a friend of my brother (Joe Hughes). A real character who drank in the Pegasus pub.

I think he may have even passed away in there, if I remember right. I've also spent most of my working life at sea, so could relate to some of his tales.

Alan J Thompson
7 Posted 19/03/2023 at 15:52:24
Tom (#6); That's the one, Tom. I was more maritime than marine, Tom, and last worked as Ship's Agent in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

One time Jimmy was home, he had broken his nose and went to hospital but, when he got there, his sister, a nurse, was on duty so Jimmy left without treatment as he couldn't hack her questions.

Barry McNally
8 Posted 20/03/2023 at 13:46:34
I located a Vasco Manuel Magalhães Teixeira on the web and he looks like our man.

I have sent him an email with a link to the story on ToffeeWeb. Hopefully it's him!

Gerry Morrison
9 Posted 20/03/2023 at 15:38:13
I am happy to say that I got in touch with Vasco too.
John Burns
10 Posted 20/03/2023 at 16:10:01
Barry & Gerry.

Well done lads!

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