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Rashford leads congratulations after Big Issue vendor Clive secures GCSEs

Marcus Rashford and Boycie from Only Fools and Horses have led the well-wishes for Plymouth Big Issue vendor Clive after his GCSE success at the age of 58

Popular Big Issue vendor Clive has been inundated with well-wishes after news that he had passed his GCSES at the age of 58 touched the hearts of thousands on social media.

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford and Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis are among those who congratulated Clive after he achieved a 5 in English language and maths at City College Plymouth.

The 58-year-old, who has sold The Big Issue for 14 years and is a popular figure on his pitch outside Theatre Royal Plymouth, has turned his life around after battling addiction and homelessness.

Speaking after receiving his results on Thursday, Clive said: “This is a massive leap for me. I feel like I’ve been to Eton or something. I never expected to do it.”

The Big Issue shared the jubilant moment Clive received his results and it inspired an enormous response on social media.

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Rashford led the way, sharing the video and adding: “Love this. Congrats Clive.”

Meanwhile, Challis, the actor known for playing Boycie on BBC sitcom Only Fool and Horses, said: “A large cognac, I think, Clive. Well done!”

And Liberal Democrats MP Layla Moran also described the moment when Clive received his results as “amazing”.

Elsewhere, the Big Isuue vendor’s efforts inspired others to share their stories of returning to education as an adult as well as recognising the merits of lifelong learning.

One Twitter user said: “We don’t hear enough about people who are pleased to get 5s. All we usually hear about is As, 8s, 9s but for a lot of people a 5 is as big as an achievement as those who get 8s and 9s – Well done Clive.”

Another user added: “Congratulations Clive. It’s a great feeling to pass an exam later on in life. I completed my GCSEs in my early 30s and then went on to complete my A-Levels too. Good luck for the future.”

Others acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge Clive faced in returning to education. One Twitter user said: “This is by no means a mean feat, studying in the midst of work and other commitments take a lot of discipline and work ethic. Well done my guy.”

Clive paid tribute to the impact of The Big Issue on his life, helping him to “build his confidence” in his years selling the magazine. 

The Big Issue’s role in helping vendors like Clive was also acknowledged on social media.

One user praised The Big Issue for “filling the gap in the social contract”.

While another social media user added that Clive’s story showed people are “never too old to achieve anything in life” and urged people to support vendors through The Big Issue.

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