DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
News

Tributes pour in for Glasgow legend vendor Paul Kelly

'I've no doubt he made hundreds of people smile every day,' one person said

Paul Kelly

The news of much-loved vendor Paul Kelly’s tragic death has left customers across Glasgow and East Kilbride devastated.

Heartfelt tributes poured in when the news broke that the 50-year-old had died after a violent attack outside his Knightswood home on Saturday June 15.

Sue wrote: “He was such a lovely guy. Talked to me when I was having a panic attack once. He really helped. Such a kind man.”

Meanwhile Andrew Burns said he always loved to chat to Kelly when buying The Big Issue from the vendor.

When he wasn’t opening doors for people outside Marks and Spencer in East Kilbride town centre or selling magazines at St Leonard’s Square, Kelly worked on his pitch outside Sainsbury’s on Buchanan Street in Glasgow.

His calls of ‘don’t be shy, give it a try. I don’t bite’ became a familiar sound for locals, many of whom have been left shaken by his death.

On social media customers had always praised Kelly’s good nature and work ethic – and have continued to do so after hearing the tragic news.

MSP and shadow cabinet minister for health and sport Monica Lennon said she was very sorry to hear that Paul had died.

And Clare said she had never known his name but that his “wee catchphrases” always made her smile, adding: “In fact I’ve no doubt he made hundreds of people smile every day.”

Craig Mclean said he was “really upset” to hear that “the ‘don’t be shy, give it a try'” vendor had been killed.

“I must have seen him on Buchanan Street dozens of times and everyone only had positive words to say about him,” he added.

Many locals said they knew Kelly as a kind man with no shortage of enthusiasm who was, above all, a hard worker. Local Lisa Graham commented: “He was such a nice guy and a genuine grafter. Such a shame. RIP”.

John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, took to Twitter to express his sadness at Kelly’s death.

“I’m so sorry to hear of the death of Paul Kelly,” Lord Bird said, “Vendor, inspirer of hope, and taken from us by violence; all of us send our deep feelings of loss to a man who deserved a better shake of the dice – let’s not rest ’til all this appalling poverty and pain is distant memory.”

It’s clear that Paul Kelly was loved by the communities he served. If you would like to share your memories of the vendor, email editorial@bigissue.com.

Image: Jamie McFadyen

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell
General election 2024

'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day
Ismail Kaji of Mencap
Learning Disability Week 2024

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals
Learning Disability Week 2024

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions
Labour will ban no-fault evictions, confirms Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
RENTING

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions

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