What are your plans for the summer?
I’m going away in August. I’ll go down south to Surrey to do some decorating for people. I get different jobs there. I know a lot of people down there. I’ve got work lined up for three weeks. But then I’ll be back selling the magazine again.
How is your dog Roxy doing in this heat?
She is doing okay. We have a good spot on our pitch – it’s very shaded and cool. She’ll be 10 in October. She will come with me when I go away. She won’t stay with anyone else. She follows me around the house all the time. She won’t leave my side. I’ve never had a dog like her before.
You’ve got a lot of tattoos. Tell me a bit about them.
I love my tattoos. I’ve got to get some more done, including my best friend’s name on one arm and Roxy’s name as well. I might get a Liverpool one next though. I have followed them since Ian Rush was there in the 1980s.
I just followed them since I was a kid. I remember when they beat York City in the FA Cup. The best player they’ve ever had has just signed up for another three years – Mo Salah – although footballers get paid too much, especially him. £350,000 a week he gets paid. That is stupid money. No one is worth that much. It’s all those idiots going to watch them though. If people stopped going to watch football matches they’d have to start reducing the price of tickets. It costs up to £100 a ticket to go and see Arsenal. And Liverpool tickets are about £50 or £60. It’s too much.
What were you like as a kid?
I was a bit naughty, I suppose. My uncle reported me once to my mam. She went and looked in my bed and there was pop and biscuits and stuff all laid out. I didn’t pay for them. I just went into the shop and got them past the shop keeper. I never used to shoplift a lot. Just bits and bats. I used to run that area where we lived when I was a kid. I was hard then and I’m harder now. I brought myself up. I looked after myself.
What were your parents like?
My dad, well, he hit my mam once and he never hit her again because a knife went straight through the palm of his hand. I said: “Ring the police, because you’ll be getting locked up, not me.” I was about eight or ten, maybe, at the time.
How old are you now?
I’m 49 next year. I’m looking forward to being 60. Then I’ll have been working for about40 years. I’ll still sell the magazine though, a couple of days a week.
What do you make of the state of our government?
We should have a better way of choosing who governs the country. I won’t vote now because it’s a waste of time just picking between two parties all the time. And these politicians get a pay rise every year. Do you? I don’t!
What would you say to Boris Johnson if he were here now?
I’d say: “You’re a hypocrite!” He should have gone ages ago. He was never fined for those parties he had. The taxpayers paid that fine! He’s not bothered anyway, is he? He’s already a millionaire. He’s useless. He didn’t knowhow to run this country. He didn’t know how to run himself! He’s a disgrace.
How’s Sheffield doing these days?
They need to open more shops here. There are lots of empty shops here now. They are trying to do some stuff in the city centre but it’s all cafés and bars. We’ve got enough cafés and bars! And we have a lot of begging around at the moment. It annoys me when I see people begging near Big Issue North pitches. It’s got to stop.
Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you very much. I appreciate your custom. But please make sure you are buying magazines from proper vendors and not just giving money to beggars.
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