Big Issue Vendor

Much-loved London vendor Eric Pelly has died

The former chef and rugby fanatic lost his battle with cancer on September 1 aged 54

We are saddened to announce that popular Big Issue vendor Eric Pelly has died following a long battle with cancer.

A former chef and a rugby fanatic, Eric died peacefully from the terminal illness aged 54 on September 1 after being moved into a nursing home before the Covid-19 lockdown.

Illness had sadly prevented Eric from selling the magazine since last Christmas, but he made a big impression on his customers over many years selling the magazine outside Waitrose in Ruislip and Neal Street in Covent Garden. He was known for his friendly demeanour and captivating stories.

Lauren Neale, The Big Issue’s London sales and operations manager, paid a touching tribute to Eric, insisting that “Covent Garden will be a quieter place”.

She said: “Eric was never short of a story to tell. He was kind hearted, well liked and a good friend to many vendors and to franchisees.

“He tried to keep his spirits up despite his deteriorating health until he passed away.

“He will be dearly missed and always thought of by franchisees, staff, vendors, and the public. Covent Garden will be a quieter place without his friendly demeanour.”