Offbeat Video

By Sophie Norris


This dad proved he has a real head for heights after balancing his daughter in a garden chair on his HEAD in a jaw-dropping stunt.

Professional football freestyler Dan Magness was inspired by a circus trick he had seen years before to sit his brave seven-year-old daughter Emily in a chair before placing it on his head.

He had been building up to the feat for more than six weeks, balancing increasingly heavy objects including an empty chair and even a bicycle on his head before finally pulling off the stunt with Emily in the video.

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Incredibly Emily and mum Julie Magness, 32, both appear completely at ease with 34-year-old Dan’s wild trick.

As Dan lifts the chair above and then onto his head, Emily flashes the camera a cheeky smile and even a small wave.

At the end of the 10-second balancing act a confident Dan gives a thumbs up and after her dismount Emily even pulls off a curtsey.

But Dan, 34, admits it was a huge relief when her feet touched the ground again and has urged people without training not to copy him.

Dan from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said: “It was a great feeling when Emily’s feet touched the ground again and I knew we’d done it.

“I’d seen a similar stunt at a circus many years ago and had always wanted to try it.

“The key to preparing for this was getting used to the weight. I started off with something lighter then gradually used heavier items until I could balance Emily.

“Whenever I was practising and my daughter was with me, she would be cheering me on shouting ‘you can do it, daddy’ or ‘come on daddy!’

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“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I was capable. My daughter is also used to doing these kinds of things with her acrobatics.

“I knew I’d be able to do it eventually. I’ve done similar tricks before but never with my child.”

Taking the leap from balancing a bicycle on his head to his own daughter came naturally for Dan, as Emily loves being part of his tricks.

Although for most people act might seem shocking or unbelievable, Dan has emphasised the amount of work that went into it and urged others not to try it at home.

Dan said: “I’ve been doing this job professionally for the last 15 years and travelled all around the world performing at different events.

“I’m a football freestyler and my daughter is training to be an acrobat. I’m always in the garden practising new skills.

“Emily is very disciplined, being into acrobatics, so she knows how to sit very still. She’s used to keeping herself in one position.

“It is something we have been working on for about a month and a half. I’d slowly built up to it.

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“I have spent years practising these stunts. I would just like to warn people not to see this and then try it for themselves.”

After years of entertaining eager fans Dan claims it’s always nice to get their approval.

He is also teaching his children the joys of football and his son Louis, 11, can now do 1,000 keepie-uppies.

Dan said: “When my friends and family saw the video they weren’t too surprised. They know that I’m capable of pulling it off, but still found it pretty impressive.

“It’s a nice, positive thing to get my family involved in my work. Emily loves it.”

Emily said: “I love it when daddy balances me on his head because it’s exciting and fun.”

“When I grow up I want to be a acrobat or in the circus”

This isn’t the first time Dan has proved his prowess of keeping things in the air – and has a number of Guinness World Records to prove it.

In 2009 he became the first person in the world to keep a ball off the ground for 24 hours.

He also travelled from Wembley Stadium in London to Old Trafford in Manchester in 2012, keeping the ball up the whole time.