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Dean Williams, 44, outside Greggs, Church Street, Cardiff

“I’m playing football again, thanks to The Big Issue – the trials for the Wales Homeless World Cup team are coming up”

I started selling The Big Issue in Cardiff a few months ago. It’s been going really well. It’s taken a bit of time to build up regular customers but I’ve been working hard and enjoying it, which is important. It’s good to be working outside and chatting to all kinds of people on a nice, sunny day.

Things had been difficult for me before I started selling the magazine. I had been through addiction problems, and although I had got myself clean, I was in a bit of a slump.

I’m a bit of a history buff, and there’s a lot of interesting history here in Cardiff

People I knew said I should do something new, something positive. So that’s what I did. It’s given me some money, my confidence back, and experience with a different kind of work.

I first came to Cardiff 15 years ago. Before I fell into homelessness, I’d been working as a labourer. I’d moved around the country with labouring work. I was what you would call a stevedore, working on the cranes. Wherever the company went, I went with them – so I’ve been here, there and everywhere. For a while I was working on the cranes in the north of Scotland, loading and unloading stuff connected to the oil industry.

I’m originally from Yorkshire but I’ve lived in Cardiff longer than anywhere. There have been some bad times here but I’ve got huge affection for the place. I’ve got friends, people in the city are generally very friendly. I’m a bit of a history buff, and there’s a lot of interesting history here – Cardiff Castle, Cardiff Museum, the dockland area.

Team work

I’m playing football again, thanks to The Big Issue Cymru. We’ve got our own team in the Street Football Wales league. It’s great to get the exercise, and the camaraderie has been really good. We’re sixth in the league, and there will be the trials for the Wales Homeless World Cup team soon. So that’s pretty exciting.

I’ve been looking into doing volunteering work. I’m hoping that will be the next part of trying to better my life

I’d like to do support and counselling – I think I’d be a good person to help others going through some of what I’ve been through. I’ve been looking into NVQ courses and volunteering work. I’m hoping that will be the next part of trying to better my life. I’ve had so much great support myself, it would be great to give something back.

My favourite place… The docklands at Tiger Bay. It’s a great place to go for a stroll and relax. There are so many interesting bits of history – churches, statues and old industrial buildings. Amazing place.

My football team… Leeds United. My favourite Leeds teams were in the 1970s and 1980s, and my favourite player was Norman Hunter – the epitome of a hard man.

On my pitch… Outside Greggs, Church Street, Cardiff, 9am to 5pm.

Photo: Jake Morley

The Hayes,Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10 1BH, United Kingdom

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