Much-loved Taunton vendor Kev Bowyer has died

The 52-year-old suffered a stroke earlier this week. He will be remembered for his willingness to share his life experiences with others

Popular Big Issue vendor Kev Bowyer has died following a stroke, we are saddened to announce.

The 52-year-old, who sold the magazine for almost a decade on the footbridge outside Morrisons supermarket, suffered a stroke last Friday and was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital.

He was transferred to Southmead Hospital in Bristol and placed on life support.

But, sadly, the damage he suffered was too great and the life support was turned off on Wednesday.

The Big Issue’s Devon & Cornwall sales and distribution team leader Steve Carter paid tribute to the veteran vendor for his willingness to share his story about his battle with addiction.

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Last year, 27,000 people worldwide earned an income selling street papers, making a total of £23.4 million.

“My most memorable time with Kev was when we did a talk about The Big Issue to 200 professionals at Taunton racecourse,” he said. “I clearly remember him trying to keep his hand still whilst holding the microphone, he was so nervous.

“He spoke about his life and his regrets but also how The Big issue helped him gain his self-esteem and I guess that will stick with me.

“It took a lot of guts for Kev to do that, to speak about the things he had got wrong or not done in his life in front of do many people. I will always remember him for that.”

Kev is the second Big Issue vendor to lose his life in the last week after Bath seller Stewart Frazer also passed away.