Big Issue Vendor

Much-loved ‘happy, cheerful’ Falmouth vendor Eric Cullen has died

The 54-year-old Big Issue seller died in his sleep on June 5

We are saddened to announce that popular Falmouth Big Issue seller Eric Cullen has died.

Eric, known as ‘Eggsy’ to his regular customers, passed away in his sleep at the static caravan he shared with fellow vendor Buddha in Penryn, Cornwall, on June 5. He was 54 years old.

The pair had lived together for a decade, spending time on the streets before being housed in the property. They even shared a pitch, selling the magazine for the last eight years outside Boots in the coastal Cornwall town.

Eric is the second vendor to die in Falmouth in the last nine months after Mark Passell died last September. Buddha and Eric were close to “Scottish Mark” and even took on his dog Roxy following his death last year.

Buddha paid a touching tribute to his late friend. He said: “Eric was one of us – a nice bloke, a happy, cheerful Big Issue seller.

“He passed away peacefully in his sleep. Another one of our good guys gone again from Falmouth.

“He was a much-loved person and it was a shock for me, especially waking up to it, there was nothing I could do.

“I’m doing alright – I could be better – I have my mates around me and the dog too. I’m not on my own.”

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Tributes have also been paid to Eric from The Big Issue’s Devon and Cornwall team leader Steve Carter, who said that he and Buddha made for a formidable pairing.

He said: “I have known Eric for around eight years and he was always with his buddy Buddha. In the early days they were quite testing and they lived in a multi-story car park. Truro did not really work for them both due to a number of reasons. But I knew they could better themselves and saw potential.

“I gave them pitches in Falmouth where they sold the magazine regularly and became very well known for their happy nature and friendliness to their customers, particularly the elder generation.

“Both Eric and Mike progressed and got a caravan on a site and seemed more settled. I used to joke with to them both, saying they were always like Steptoe and Son, niggling each other but always looking out for each other’s back.

“I was sure Eric and Mike were going to go the next step and progress more. Unfortunately, Eric has been taken away far too early and Buddha will go forward on his own hopefully with Eric in his shadow, Eric will be sadly missed by all of us at The Big Issue.”