News

Tributes paid to Perth Big Issue vendor Rab Lakie who died after heart attack: 'One in a million'

Flowers and heartfelt messages were left on Rab Lakie’s pitch after he died last week at the age of 61

Big Issue vendor Rab Lakie

Rab Lakie was a mainstay on Perth high street during hsi 20 years selling The Big Issue. There has been an outpouring of tributes following his death. Image: Family handout

Hundreds of people have paid tribute to much-loved Big Issue vendor Rab Lakie who died after suffering a heart attack at home.

The veteran vendor, 61, became a familiar sight outside Marks & Spencer on Perth’s High Street, Scotland, during his 20 years selling the magazine.

Floral tributes, heartfelt messages and copies of The Big Issue were left in memory of long-time vendor Rab Lackie on his pitch outside M&S in Perth. Image: Chris Luby

He leaves behind his wife Gill Soutar, six children and seven grandchildren. Rab’s funeral will be held at 2pm on 11 October at St Matthew’s Church in Perth. His family have launched a GoFundMe campaign for support with the costs of the funeral.

Scores of floral tributes, copies of The Big Issue and heartfelt messages have been left on his pitch in his memory.

Chris Luby, frontline sales and support worker for The Big Issue in Scotland, led the tributes, describing the popular Scot as a “pleasant guy”.

“Rab was a great wee guy. He was never any bother, a good seller and he was very popular on his pitch, just a nice man and such a pleasant guy,” said Luby.

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

“It’s sad that he has passed away. He loved selling his magazines – I spoke to him a few times and he told me he couldn’t see himself doing anything else. A few times we got emails from customers saying, ‘What a lovely man that is in Perth High Street who’s selling the magazine.’

“He really will be missed. You could always trust Rab, he would never let you down.”

News of Rab’s death inspired more than 600 people to pay their respects in the Auld Perth Bairns Facebook group.

His regular customers and Perth passers-by shared memories of chatting to him and some even called for a permanent tribute to be installed on his Big Issue pitch.

Big Issue vendor Rab Lakie
Perth Big Issue vendor Rab Lakie with grandson Norrie. Image: Family handout

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

Fiona McWilliams said: “Rab was one in a million. Everyone’s friend. He stood in all weathers selling The Big Issue and happily chatting to anyone who talked to him. He will be sorely missed and I hope in the future Perth will add a little plaque or something where Rab stood in the high street as a lovely memorial to him.”

Lynn Rivett also paid tribute. She said: “So sad to hear this about such a lovely man. I made some quilts for him and I loved our blethers when down the street. Condolences to all the family.”

Irene Lamond said she loved “having a chat with him putting the world to right”. She added: “He was a true gent and always enjoyed speaking to everyone. We will miss him. Condolences to his family.”

Gordon Wilson said: “Perth will miss this true gentleman who beat so many of life’s adversities. He cared for so many and sought help for so many.”

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Meet Jennie – Lib Dem MP Steve Darling's guide dog who's changing the face of politics
jennie the guide dog and mp steve darling
Politics

Meet Jennie – Lib Dem MP Steve Darling's guide dog who's changing the face of politics

How many times have we walked by people, men and women, lying on the streets?
Homelessness

How many times have we walked by people, men and women, lying on the streets?

Four problems Labour must solve to deliver the social housing Britain urgently needs
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, and Luke Charters, Labour’s candidate for York Outer, speak to apprentices at Persimmon Homes Germany Beck in York.
Social housing

Four problems Labour must solve to deliver the social housing Britain urgently needs

Still no opening date set for UK's first drug consumption room
Drugs

Still no opening date set for UK's first drug consumption room

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know