Big Issue Vendor

The Big Issue pays tribute to popular Barbican Plymouth vendor Desmond Spiers

The 34-year-old seller, known for giving tourists a helping hand in the Devon city, died on July 30

We are saddened to announce that much-loved Plymouth Big Issue vendor Desmond Spiers has died.

Desmond, who has sold the magazine outside the Barbican Plymouth for the last three years, was found dead on July 30. An inquest is due to be held to determine the cause of Desmond’s death.

Steve Carter, The Big Issue’s sales and operations team leader for Devon and Cornwall, paid a touching tribute to the long-time seller, insisting that he had been “relieved” to return to his pitch on July 6 after struggling with the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Des was respected and often would help tourists by pointing them in the right direction, recommending places to visit and eat,” said Steve.

“Des had a massive respect for our military and especially the veterans and always wore a poppy with pride.

“He struggled a lot during lockdown. He missed his local customers and was so relieved to return to his pitch.

“Des had his demons but enjoyed selling The Big Issue and loved the interaction with the locals on the Barbican. He will be sadly missed by me and all of us at The Big Issue.”