Notts County are saddened to learn of the passing of former player Kevin Randall.
Kevin made more than 100 league appearances for the club between 1972 and 1975, boasting a goals-to-game ratio of roughly one in three under the watchful eye of the legendary Jimmy Sirrel.
The club would like to extend their sympathies to Kevin's loved ones at this very sad time.
Colin Slater MBE pays tribute to a man he paid close attention to following his arrival from Chesterfield:
The opening league match of 1972-73 was away at Shrewsbury and the team coach pulled out of Meadow Lane at 10.30am.
We had not long been on the road when Jimmy Sirrel who, as usual, was occupying the front seat behind the driver, motioned me to join him. Jimmy came straight to the point.
“I signed the boy from Chesterfield last evening,” he said, referring obliquely to Kevin, whose death left us all stunned and saddened.
The signing, for £20,000, meant that Jimmy’s long and patient pursuit of the forward who had scored 96 goals in 258 appearances for Chesterfield, had paid off.
The signing was completed too late for Kevin to make his debut in the goalless draw at Shrewsbury so it was in a League Cup tie four days later, at home to York City, that he pulled on the black and white shirt for the first of his 133 appearances.
What’s more, he scored Notts’ first goal in a 3-1 win, with Jon Nixon and Arthur Mann claiming the others.
It was the beginning of a thrilling League Cup run where victories were recorded over more formidable opposition than York – Southampton away from home and Stoke City at Meadow Lane, after overcoming Southport in round two.
By the time of Stoke’s visit for the fourth-round tie at the end of October, Kevin had become the regular penalty taker and it was from the spot that, once again, he opened the scoring in a 3-1 win – Les Bradd and Brian Stubbs were the others on the scoresheet.
Better remembered is the season’s last league match, at home to Tranmere Rovers, which Notts needed to win to be sure of promotion.
A crowd of over 21,000 was soon brought to its feet when Nixon fired the Magpies in front at the Kop end before Kevin contributed to a 4-1 success with two penalty conversions – David Needham added the other.
Randall’s eleven other league goals also contributed greatly to Notts finishing second behind Bolton Wanderers.
He remained a regular the following season, in the Second Division, before moving on to Mansfield Town in November 1975 for a fee of £10,000.
He won a Third Division championship medal with the Stags to add to the Fourth Division one he collected while with Chesterfield.
In later life he served Neil Warnock as chief scout at Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, QPR and Leeds United.
Through all of football’s ups and downs he remained the essentially modest and extremely likeable man I met on his Notts debut 47 years ago and who it was always a real pleasure to see on many subsequent occasions.