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Mustangs celebrate superfan’s 75th birthday

Marble Falls superfan Jimmy Burney

Marble Falls Mustang superfan Jimmy Burney (center, left) received a letterman jacket for his 75th birthday during halftime of the boys’ basketball game against the Burnet Bulldogs in Max Copeland Gym on Feb. 10. The Marble Falls varsity girls’ basketball team, Marble Falls Independent School District board Trustee Larry Berkman (left), Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway, and boys’ basketball head coach Travis Crain participated in the mid-court celebration. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Fans at Max Copeland Gym on Feb. 10 joined together to cheer for Marble Falls Mustang superfan Jimmy Burney during halftime of the boys’ basketball game against the Burnet Bulldogs. Burney is celebrating his 75th birthday.

As a gift, Burney received a new letterman jacket after mentioning to former Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen that his old jacket was starting to show signs of wear and tear.

“Jimmy was complaining about the other (jacket) being faded and worn out,” said Tammy Berkman, co-organizer of the celebration. “I thought it was so nice of Dr. Allen to make sure that happened before he left.”

Allen left Jan. 25 to take over as superintendent of Midway Independent School District near Waco.

After speaking with Burney, Allen reached out to head football coach Brian Herman to see what could be done to solve Burney’s predicament.

“Coach Herman actually provided the jacket,” Berkman said. “He had one at the field house. It was really a big group effort.”

The new jacket features patches for each of the school’s sports with one exception.

“He had said, ‘I’d like to have a band (patch) replace the golf (patch) because I never got to any golf games, and I love the band,’” Berkman said.

Burney was also given a lemon cake, his favorite dessert.

Burney’s love of the Mustangs started in 1992 after a playoff run by then-head football coach David Denney’s squad. About 30 years later, Burney remains a fan of the school’s various athletic teams.

“He stands on the rail where all of the kids stand at the games,” Berkman said. “It’s called the ‘Mustang Gang.’ He stands right with them at every game.”

Known for his long walks around town and his fantastic memory, Burney’s daily routine consists of stops at local businesses, including Highland Furniture, Sugar Mama Cookies, and Mark Fox Co. Real Estate.

“I was shopping in Highland Furniture one time, and all the sudden, Jimmy raises out of a recliner chair,” Berkman said. “He had been taking a nap. (Highland Furniture) didn’t mind at all. That’s just where he likes to go for his nap.”

Absorbed by his routine, Burney is known to decline car rides from residents in favor of walking.

“He has a route he walks every single day,” Berkman said. “If you stop your car and ask him if he wants a ride, he will say no because he wants to be walking. He might get in if it’s raining, but not if it’s not.”

A team of district employees, coaches, business owners, and members of Burney’s church check on him every week and even take him on special trips.

“There’s so many people that love Jimmy and look out for him all the time,” Berkman said. “It is amazing how many people are his friends.”