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Tributes paid to much-loved Big Issue vendor John McIntyre who died at 69: 'He was a good egg'

Kendall seller John McIntyre, who has died at the age of 69, will be remembered in the Cumbria town for his love of selling the magazine and as a Father Christmas doppelganger in his later years

Big Issue vendor John McIntyre

Big Issue vendor John McIntyre became a familar place on the streets of Kendal in Cumbria. Image: Supplied

Popular Big Issue vendor John McIntyre, who friends have described as a “real Kendal character”, has died.

McIntyre, who sold the magazine at Elephant Yard shopping centre in Kendal, Cumbria, for five years, died on 11 November at the age of 69.

His cousin Amanda Johnson, who volunteers at Kendal homelessness prevention charity Manna House where he used to buy his magazines, told The Big Issue: “John was just a good egg, he was willing to help everyone.

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“He had lots of friends, he was so generous and would do anything to help anyone.

“Even when I went to the funeral directors yesterday I’ve got The Salvation Army helping me and I showed the woman his picture and she went, ‘“’Oh, I know him!’”’

“It was John who actually introduced me to Manna House when I was struggling.”

Away from his pitch, McIntyre loved playing pool and fishing, Johnson said, but selling The Big Issue magazine was a central passion in his life.

His stint selling the magazine also endeared him to locals and he became a familiar face on Kendal’s high street.

“He absolutely loved selling the magazine,” added Johnson. “It got him out and talking to people and he got a few good friends through it. Those very same people who bought the magazine off him have been messaging me since he died.

“He had lots of local customers and they used to bring him brews and sandwiches all the time.”

A date for McIntyre’s funeral is still to be set but The Salvation Army has agreed to host and pay for his funeral in the Cumbria town.

It’s testament to how much of an impact he had on the community in Kendal, according to Clare Neal, who contacted The Big Issue to pay tribute to McIntyre.

“We helped John with lots of things and he brought lots of friends here. It’s fantastic that The Salvation Army are paying for his funeral,” said Neal, who works at Manna House.

“He looked like Father Christmas and had the most amazing hair. At Christmas time, everyone knew him. Unfortunately, he had a leg amputated so he was in a wheelchair.

“He really was a Kendal character that everybody will know and miss.”

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