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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
John Thompson & Ellen Kirwin

Jurgen Klopp's touching gesture for Liverpool fan before his death

A Liverpool fan has died with a touching letter he got from Jurgen Klopp in a frame by his bedside.

Bob Burns, originally from Courthope Road, Walton died on Monday, December 12, after collapsing with a brain clot just days before. The 67-year-old had survived two brain tumours but after a third was diagnosed recently Jurgen wrote a personal letter to him.

The letter was sent to him in Florida, where he moved almost 30 years ago with his American-born wife Dianne, after a friend contacted the club. Bob, who was an ex Liverpool ECHO newsman, was thrilled to receive the letter and put it in a frame beside his bed.

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The Reds manager told Bob he was in his "thoughts and prayers", after being contacted by Bob's friend, ex-Liverpool primary headteacher and city education inspector Ken Heaton.

Another good friend, ex-ECHO sports editor John Thompson, said: "Bob adored Liverpool FC and went to so many games and finals - including Rome in 1977 when Liverpool won their first ever European Cup. I spoke to him just over a couple of weeks ago and despite being treated for yet another brain tumour, he was in great spirits with a very hopeful outlook.

"He couldn’t believe his dear friend Ken, an Evertonian to his core, had contacted Liverpool, who then kindly arranged for Jurgen to write to Bob. Bob couldn’t stop talking about the letter, the time Jurgen had clearly put into compiling it and the sincerely heartfelt and personal support he gave him.

"He had it put in a frame by his bedside - and it was there with him until the end."

John added: "Lots of friends knew Bob as a football fan but many others knew him as a great character and a wonderful journalist who was thrilled when he landed a job on the ECHO in the 1980s after cutting his teeth on the Bootle Times and then Mercury Press.

"He went on to become ECHO crime reporter, chief reporter and then assistant news editor before his love for Dianne, and later their sons Michael and Paul, took him across the Atlantic to build a new life in the States. Bob became a highly successful newsman in America too, working as a lead reporter for Globe magazine for many years until his retirement.”

Another friend and former ECHO deputy news editor, Alf Bennett said: "What a wonderful character Bob was - full of love and laughter. And a million stories. He so loved this city. His brother Derek and sister Diane still live here.

"Myself and many ex colleagues are devastated at Bob's loss. But we all know Jurgen’s wonderful letter meant the world to him. And it’s all thanks to his Evertonian pal Ken for setting it up."

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