Essex: Friends remember young cricketer

TRIBUTES have been paid to an “outstanding” cricketer and former batting partner of England’s Alastair Cook who died aged just 27.

David Randall grew up playing alongside Cook at Maldon Cricket Club and went on to represent both his county and England as a junior.

But last year he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and tragically died last Friday.

In May, Cook, who also plays for Essex, dedicated England’s Test victory over the West Indies to his close friend and terminally ill former team mate.

After the match Cook said: “He was the outstanding cricketer of our age group really so it is tough to see someone go through that, so Dave that is for you.”

Yesterday, Essex County Cricket Club coach Paul Grayson said: “On behalf of ECC I’d like to offer our deepest sympathy to Dave’s family. Everyone at the club is mourning the loss.

“This news is a devastating blow to the whole cricketing community. We’ve lost a great player and coach who showed the utmost bravery during his illness.

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“He was a great cricketer representing the county at junior level and was an inspiration for all young players in Essex.”

His friends and team mates at Maldon also paid tribute, describing him as “inspirational.”

In a statement the Club said: “Many youngsters of Maldon CC and the Central Essex District Cricket Board will tell you he was a fantastic coach who loved passing on his knowledge and wisdom in a relaxed and often humorous manner.

To everyone he was a mate. Whether you were the youngest colt or the oldest ex player David had time for you. His two big passions were Cricket and Music and he would appear at his happiest when discussing either.”

As a senior David scored over 4,300 runs for the club having first picked up a cricket bat aged just 6.

The statement continued: “There was something else that David will always be remembered for and that was the way he handled his illness. The word inspirational has probably been said more than any other in the past few days because his dignity and courage since being diagnosed has inspired everyone who knew him.”

David’s funeral service will be held at All Saints Church, Maldon on Monday July 16 at Midday.

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