A POPULAR Big Issue seller known to hundreds of people in Taunton has died.

Kevin Bowyer, 52, used to take up his position every day on the Morrisons bridge over the River Tone, opposite the Brewhouse Theatre.

He was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital last Friday after suffering a stroke.

When his condition deteriorated he was transferred to Southmead Hospital, in Bristol.

He died there yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

Kev, as he was known by passers by who would stop for a chat, never hid from his past.

He openly spoke about his history of alcohol and drug use and how he had spent time in prison.

It was while in jail that he told himself he had brought shame on his family and vowed to turn his life around.

Mark Woodcock, manager of Taunton homeless charity Open Door, paid tribute to Kev, who lived in Beaufort Road in the town.

Mr Woodcock said: "All the time I've known Kev he's been a super guy, steadily working, making his own living from selling the Big Issue.

"He really saw selling the Big Issue as his job. He'd be out there before 8am in the morning whatever the weather.

"He was a thoroughly consistent, dependable guy.

"He recently gave talks on his past and the challenges he's faced to nurses at Taunton Racecourse and to Open Door volunteers to give people an insight into what it's like being an addict."