Omar Miller, 42, Union Street, Birmingham

“I like to make people smile or laugh – anything that makes a connection”

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I started selling the magazine in 2015. I was having a difficult time, sofa-surfing with a friend in Birmingham and losing a bit of hope. I decided I needed something new to focus on. Someone told me about The Big Issue and I thought it was a great idea. I made a success of the job very quickly.

I really love selling the magazine. It’s a job and it’s a hobby too – it’s something I’m passionate about. I love what it does for people and I think it’s a great product. I talk to my customers about what’s in the magazine. I like to make people smile or laugh – anything that makes a connection. I think I’ve become a good motivator for some of my customers when they stop for a chat.

I really love selling the magazine –it’s a great product, and is something I’m passionate about

I was born in Jamaica and had a good upbringing there. It wasn’t until 2009 that I came to the UK to try my luck. I came to Birmingham because I knew people here. I fell into renting shared flats with other people but found it difficult to pay the rent, and so it became sofa-surfing – very insecure. The Big Issue has helped make all that easier. I still don’t have somewhere fixed where I’m really settled but I’m hoping that will change.

I like Birmingham – outside of London it’s the great city in the UK. I love all the parks, there is an amazing amount of green space in this country.

British sport

I also love sport in Britain. I’m a big sports enthusiast – football, tennis, horse racing and boxing. I love statistics. I’m good at analysing all the data – scores, results, form, injuries – and making predictions.

My predictions for the Premier League this year would be that Manchester United and Liverpool will be stronger and finish higher in the table. They have good managers who are improving their teams. Chelsea have been foolish to consider letting Diego Costa go, so they will be lower this year. I have a soft spot for Arsenal because of the stylish way they play but they’re hard to predict.

I would like to use statistical analysis professionally, perhaps move into data marketing. I’m looking at using research on sports markets and trying to develop it as a business. That’s my goal.

Anyway, I will keep working hard to better myself. It’s not all about money, it’s about who you are as a person too.

My favourite place… Sandwell Valley near West Bromwich. It’s a wonderful big park with lots of outdoors activities and wildlife – I have good memories of going there when I came to Birmingham.

My favourite boxer… Rocky Marciano. I love boxing, love Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather – but Marciano was the master. He was undefeated.

On my pitch… I’m at Union Street, Birmingham, from Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm

Photo: Adrian Jones

Union Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom

The Big Issue

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