RIP Charles Randall, ‘diligent and polite’ Daily Telegraph sports writer

FUNERAL DETAILS UPDATE: Monday, February 24 Christ Church Radlett (Watling Street, WD7 7JJ) and afterwards at Porter’s Park Golf Club, Radlett (Shenley Hill, WD7 7AZ). Dress code will be club ties. No flowers please, and donations if desired to the MCC Foundation.

Charles Randall, former cricket, rugby, bowls and hockey writer for The Daily Telegraph, has died suddenly of pneumonia aged 71.

Known as Charlie, Randall began his career at the Herts Advertiser in the 1970s before joining the Telegraph in 1979 where he stayed for 32 years.

Close friend Ivo Tennant wrote in a tribute on the Cricket Writers’ Club site: “He was slim, wiry, seemed to eat and drink little, did not smoke, and, as he once demonstrated when covering Hampshire at Bournemouth, had evidently been a fine club cricketer for many years.

 “He collected the ball on the boundary and, to the irritation of the fielder who had pursued it, fizzed it in over the stumps and into the wicket-keeper’s gloves. So his death from pneumonia, when only in his early seventies, comes as a shock.

“I happened to be in the press box, the old – and preferable – box at Lord’s with Charlie in 1989 when he was relatively new to cricket writing. It was early season and Yorkshire were giving a debut to a young fast bowler called Darren Gough, who took three Middlesex wickets for 44, coming on first change.

 “Neither of us had heard of him. Charlie, diligent and polite as ever, asked the travelling White Rose correspondents – at least four in those days – if they could fill him in as he had a lengthy piece to write.

“It was, I think, John Callaghan, who mischievously informed Charlie that Gough was ‘the son of a Barnsley rat-catcher.’

Given Charlie had been a sub-editor, and no doubt respected for his accuracy, his description was not queried. His lurid words were duly printed.

Away from his journalism he joined the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), an army reserve regiment, part-time in 1968 and maintained this connection into recent years as President of the HAC football club.

A long-term resident of Radlett, Herts, he was a member of Porters Park Golf Club for 55 years and a member of Radlett Cricket Club for a similar length of time, playing league cricket until he was 64.

His interests included collecting records for his Rockola Max jukebox, chess and drawing. 

He leaves a wife Kate, whom he married in 1979, two children Nicole and Simon and five granddaughters.

For the full tribute by Ivo Tennant please click here