Michael Hadley, Snow Hill railway station, Birmingham

Michael is a massive Liverpool fan, and although he's sad that manager Jürgen Klopp is leaving, he's looking to the future

Photo: Exposure Photo Agency

I start selling the magazine at five in the morning. I just like to keep busy! I eat loads of food to keep up the stamina, loads of breakfast, milk, eggs, stuff like that. 

I used to sell the magazine on Lower Temple Street but now I sell it at Snow Hill train station. Things are going fine on my pitch and I’ve got quite a few customers. Some of my regular customers buy me hot drinks and hot food and stuff at Christmas.

I’ve done The Big Issue for 13 years. I just saw a man holding a Big Issue one day and he’d earned £20. He explained to me what he’d done and I thought, “Ooh, I’ll give that a go.” I was in shared accommodation looking for a job at the time. I was in and out of relationships, in and out of jail.  

I’ve been in the magazine before – last time I did a My Pitch interview I was over in the German Christmas market back in 2017.

I do love selling the magazine. I love going out. I’m the same as my dad. He had three jobs as well. I’m like him – I get up, eat, work, sleep. Eat, work, sleep.

I’m OK at selling it. I look at the magazine on a Monday and make stuff up in my head which rhymes with the stuff inside it. I think it really connects with my customers because I’m a bubbly person as well. I have to be professional when I’m on my pitch. I have to be jolly, but I’m that kind of person anyway. It helps a lot. I’ve noticed that if you’re moody, if you’re angry, people don’t want to stop and talk to you.

I’m originally from Tipton but I like it here in Birmingham because I get to meet so many different people. I used to know Bubble quite well, the vendor who sold the magazine on this pitch before. [Bubble died in 2021 three years after being seriously injured in a hit and run incident.] I used to walk past him every morning, say hello, we’d have a little chat. He’d tell me how he’d grafted. Just normal chatter. 

I live in shared accommodation in Shirley Heath so it’s not that close to Snow Hill. I split up with my partner of two and a half years about six weeks ago. So now I’m just getting myself back on my own two feet and I’m back looking for love. I moved into the shared accommodation after that and it’s fine really, there’s just me and one other person in there.

I’m a Liverpool fan. Always have been, always will be. I’ve got Scouse family, that’s where it comes from. I don’t know whether we’ll win the league this year because we’ve had two chances so far and we’ve screwed them up. 

What can I say about Jürgen Klopp? He’s been our best manager so far. But managers come and go. He’s done us proud for so many years so it’s only fair that no one kicks off when he goes. I wasn’t surprised when he said he was going. I knew he wanted to go. Never mind, we’ll get someone else. 

I watch as many of the matches on TV as I can, but I don’t have too many other interests. Most of my time is spent selling The Big Issue. I just focus on my work. I’m still in touch with my family as well after we reconnected a few years ago. I see my mum, my nephews, my sister almost every day. I’m just a normal 33-year-old bloke trying to get on with his life. 

Words: Liam Geraghty

Snow Hill Railway Station, Colmore Row, Birmingham, UK