Tributes paid to popular Big Issue seller killed in 'violent attack'

Paul Kelly. Picture: Big Issue
Paul Kelly. Picture: Big Issue
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Tributes have poured in for well-known Glasgow Big Issue vendor Paul Kelly after he was killed in a 'very violent attack' in Knightswood on Saturday morning.

Big Issue editor Paul McNamee was among those who paid tribute to Paul, 50, who was known for his easy-going style and catchphrase "don't be shy, give it a try," at his long term pitch in Glasgow's Buchanan Street, and more recently in East Kilbride.

Paul was pronounced dead at the scene after police responded to reports of a man injured in Knightswood on Saturday morning.

He worked at the magazine, which provides employment as vendors to those in poverty or at risk of homelessness, for over a decade.

Mr McNamee tweeted: "Desperately sad to reveal that our @bigissue compadre Paul Kelly died at the weekend. He was victim of a violent attack. Police are treating it as murder. Paul sold the mag outside Sainsbury's on Glasgow's Buchanan Street.He was a lovely sweet man.

"I'll miss him. We'll all miss him."

He told he magazine's website: "We talked a lot, many times a week, just putting the world to rights. He always had plenty to say.

“His father died not so long ago and he had a bit of a tough time with that. But he met it and he liked to talk about him and reminisce.

“Paul was both tough and really gentle. He was such a part of The Big Issue, such a part of Glasgow city centre. He talked about the good people, the regular customers and friends he had who looked out for him. Everything is a bit darker and quieter just now."

Rhys Corley-Morgan, Operations Manager for the Big Issue in Scotland, told Glasgow Live: “Everyone at The Big Issue is extremely shocked to hear about the death of Paul on Saturday morning. He will be missed by all of the staff who worked with him and all of his customers in Glasgow and East Kilbride.

“Paul had sold The Big Issue for many years and was an instantly likeable character on his pitch where he’d often be geared shouting his catchphrase, ‘don’t be shy, give a try. I don’t bite.’

A 46-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Paul's death and is due to appear in court today.

Detective Inspector Steven Elliot, of Police Scotland, said they were treating the vendor's death as murder.

He said: "A man has lost his life in what I can only describe as a very violent attack."