Mick Morrow, Central station, Glasgow

Mick enjoys snooker and once played against Jimmy White. He didn't win

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I’m originally from Glasgow. I was born in the Gorbals but I grew up in Arden in Thornliebank. I moved to London because I had just finished a 10-year prison sentence and I wanted away from Glasgow because I would have ended up doing a lifer, basically.

I’ve been selling The Big Issue since it started thereabouts, down in London. I’ve been back up in Glasgow about five years, but I’ve sold all over the place. I used to raise money for kids’ charities. I was running an office down in Croydon, that’s why I was down in London. I was living in a B&B hotel where I met an outreach worker for the paper and it sort of got me into selling it. I was trying to get a deposit together for a flat down in London which is quite expensive. 

I enjoy selling The Big Issue because I enjoy talking to people. On my patch down in London I was holding that for 15 years and I knew everybody in Uxbridge and the surrounding area, and they all knew me. They all spoke to me. Even the coppers and the town centre managers, whenever they saw any chuggers around they’d chase them away for me. Without The Big Issue, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to be that well known. You see, when you’re working an area you become part of the community. I’ve got a card reader now and I wish I had one years ago! I would say it has improved my sales because a lot of people don’t carry cash these days. Debs in the office sorted it for me because I’m not too tech savvy so to speak. 

I sell outside Glasgow Central station and it’s a good earner. I’ve got quite a few regulars there, but because of the train strikes I’ve been working in Clarkston two days a week. It’s dead at Central when the strikes are on and I’m only 10 minutes down the road from Clarkston so it’s handy. I’ve become part of the community around here. They all come down and see my dog and ask to pet her. I’ve got a black labrador called Jessy and she was five recently. She was actually my neighbour’s dog, but she’s got mental health issues and three children. I lost my big guy about three years ago. I had a big German shepherd mastiff cross, he was 12 and a half. My neighbour said, “Mick, do you want to take the dog out with you?” I’ve ended up with her. I love my animals. When I was in London my ex-girlfriend had a menagerie. I like that animals are loyal. 

There’s a partnership The Big Issue has with C&C Group so I also go along and sell magazines where they make Tennent’s. My goddaughter worked there for many years, and most of the staff knew of her. Unfortunately she passed away a few years back. When I went there everyone made me feel at home and had nice things to say about her. I feel I’ve built a good relationship with the team and they look after me. 

I’m living in a council flat at the moment. With any wages I get I put it on my ’leccy and my food. I’m coping. I enjoy watching football. I support Celtic. We’ve just lost Ange Postecoglou but managers come and go. I’m glad we’ve got Brendan Rodgers back. I’m not one of these who say he’s a traitor. That’s football. We’ll definitely win the title this season. 

I like playing a game of snooker or pool now and again too. My maximum break in snooker is about 60-odd, I’m not too bad, I’m quite a reasonable player. I’ve actually played against Jimmy White while I was down in London. He hammered me but at least I can say I played him!

Glasgow Central Station, Gordon Street, Glasgow, UK

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