Cricket community ready to Rock Up for Randall

THE local cricket community is rallying round to Rock Up for Randall.

David Randall, a talented cricketer who grew up playing alongside Essex and England stars Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May this year.

The 26-year-old, who plays for Maldon in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, underwent surgery in June and has just begun his second spell of chemotherapy.

Maldon Cricket Club are organising a fund-raising day on Sunday - Rock Up for Randall - in aid of McMillan Nurses, which will feature a Twenty20 match. The game will be between an Arkle XI, so-called after David’s nickname from childhood and copied from Ex-England batsman Derek Randall, and a Maldon CC XI.

Neil Foster, one of the organisers, said players past and present from the club and neighbouring clubs have bid to take part in the match, which starts at 3pm. The bar at Maldon’s Drapers Farm ground will be open and there will be a barbecue and also a bouncy castle.

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Foster said a raffle will take place during the evening with prizes donated by friends of both the club and David, and Cook and Bopara were in the process of finalising the details of a fantastic prize.

Randall’s own band - Soul Attraction - will be playing together for the first time since they went their separate ways to university after forming while at the Plume School in Maldon. Keyboard player David, who was working at an actuary in Romford prior to his illness, and his brother John will play in the five-piece band.

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After joining Maldon as a six-year-old, Randall broke into the club’s first team at the age of 14 and was playing in the East Anglian Premier League a year later.

He regularly played alongside Cook, who is now an established member of the England team and his country’s one-day interantional captain, for Maldon and represented Essex and the South of England with Cook and Bopara between the under-10 and under-16 age groups. His mother Sue is ladies’ and girls’ co-ordinator at Maldon CC, and Cook’s father, Graham, is one of the coaches.

Foster said: “David is a hugely popular member of the club, who coaches the youngsters at Maldon as well as at district level.

“We have been overwhelmed with the response we have had to the fund-raising day both in terms of prizes that have been donated and people who are planning to turn up on the day to show their support.

“We originally set ourselves a target of raising �2,000 for McMillan Nurses, but with the pledges we have had we are expecting to raise in the region of �3,500.”

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