Big Issue vendors were such a hit when they descended on Southampton FC that they have now become stars on Match of the Day.
A team of 14 vendors made the switch from their pitches to a pitch of another kind at St Mary’s Stadium on August 12 to sell the special edition of the magazine at St Mary’s Stadium as Saints drew 0-0 with Swansea City in their Premier League opener.
And their exploits caught the attention of the BBC film crews, who filmed a three-minute feature video that aired on Sunday alongside the latest highlights of this week’s matches.
The video features an interview with Big Issue editor Paul McNamee as well as footage of Saints stars Florin Gardos, Manolo Gabbiadini, Nathan Redmond and Oriol Romeu joining vendors on the streets of Winchester to sell the magazine ahead of the game.
The short segment on Match of the Day had football fans, led by former Olympian Iwan Thomas, flocking to Twitter to praise the partnership between Southampton FC and The Big Issue following the Sunday morning airing on BBC One.
— Iwan Thomas MBE (@Iwanrunner) August 20, 2017
Fair play to @SouthamptonFC for their partnership with the Big Issue. Love seeing football clubs get involved in society. 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿
— DKA 🙍🏾♂️♿️ (@KojoAsante19) August 20, 2017
Fair play to the Southampton players for helping to sell the big issue and helping people in their local area. Respect earned #SaintsFC
— Mr. C (@SpotOnIan) August 20, 2017
Excellent piece on #MOTD about Saints and The Big Issue. Great initiative helping people on their doorstep.
— Truan Cannings 🌹 (@TruanCannings) August 20, 2017
Any readers who missed the special edition, which is part of the unique link-up between Southampton FC and The Big Issue that will see vendors given the chance to earn long-term employment opportunities at the club, can still get hold of a copy from The Big Issue Shop.
- Charlie Austin looks forward to the new campaign after seeing a promising season last term harshly curtailed by a five-month injury lay-off. The Southampton goal machine had racked up a healthy return of nine goals before dislocating his shoulder last December and missed February’s EFL Cup Final defeat to Manchester United as a result. Austin insists he wants to hit the ground running and re-ignite his goalscoring exploits under the tutelage of new Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
- Legendary Saints’ FA Cup-winning former manager Lawrie McMenemy takes a nostalgic look back through his life and career in his Letter To My Younger Self. The 81-year-old reveals how he almost joined Manchester United and names Kevin Keegan his all-time best signing. It’s a candid, fascinating conversation, and another golden instalment to our unmissable archive of Letter To My Younger Self interviews.
- St Mary’s hero Francis Benali looks ahead to the new league season. The former defender, who made more than 300 Saints appearances, also offers an insight into his extensive charity work.
- Read more about the everyday life-changing work of the Saints Foundation. Like The Big Issue, the Foundation helps to give both young and old in society a helping hand. Explore how the club’s official charity has helped transform the lives of three men who had fallen on hard times, and discover how the charity’s Youth Inclusion and Generation Gains programmes impact the local community. The work of the Saints Foundation is also felt globally: find out about the organisation’s link-up with Mary’s Meals, a charity that provides school dinners to deprived children all over the world.
- Find out about how the club’s rich history in the community, from the city’s St Mary’s church through to their three consecutive Southern League titles, led Saints to become the Premier League juggernaut that they are today.