Paul Randall set to hit target again with autobiography
By Wells Journal | Thursday, February 09, 2012, 11:45
The life in football of former Bristol Rovers star and current Wells City assistant manager Paul Randall is to be told in his forthcoming autobiography.
Paul Randall (left) and Donnie Gillies (centre) chat to Terry Cooper during their time at Bristol Rovers together
Paul Randall goes through some of his football memorabilia
Punky (his nickname) will detail the story of how Randall, who has lived in Glastonbury or Wells for most of his 53 years, emerged from a football backwater in Somerset to play in the top flight of English football.
After bagging two goals in a 'legends' match between Rovers and Bristol City arranged to publicise the release three years ago of author Neil Palmer's Bristol Derby Days, a book on the rivalry between the two clubs, Randall was persuaded to cooperate for an autobiography.
The book, written by Palmer after many hours spent with Randall reminiscing on his playing days, is scheduled to hit the bookshelves in September.
The first few years of Randall's life were spent in Liverpool, moving with his family to Glastonbury in 1961.
His father Ken, who had been on the books of Everton, turned out for Glastonbury Town in the Western League, while young Paul showed great promise at a tender age.
Under the guidance of former Bristol Rovers player George Petherbridge, Paul made his debut for the Dollies at the age of 15. And the Glastonbury manager did his utmost to fix him up with his old club.
After having trials with Rovers, Bristol City and Manchester City, Randall opted to accept an offer from Rovers after turning down the North West Blues.
He marked his bow in the Football League in August 1977 with a goal against Cardiff City at Ninian Park, a strike that earned Rovers a 1-1 draw, and went on to finish as the club's top scorer for two consecutive seasons.
Randall scored more than 100 league goals in two spells with the club, but his talent for finding the back of the net caught the eye of First Division side Stoke City.
The Potters paid £180,000 for his services in 1978, which in today's values would equate to a figure in the region of £3-4 million.
The forward did not quite reach the levels of success that were expected at Stoke, although he scored in successive games against Liverpool and Manchester United.
Eventually, he returned to Rovers in 1980 for a fee of £55,000, which was paid for by Gas fans.
After six successful years in Bristol, Randall joined Yeovil Town and then Bath City, where the goals continued to flow. The striker still holds the record for the most goals scored in a season for Bath, bagging 51 in the 1989-90 campaign.
After a brief spell with Weymouth, Randall continued to ply his trade with great success in Somerset, chiefly with local side Wells City.
He continued to play until well into his 30s and currently serves as assistant boss to the Toolstation League outfit.
Several well-known former Rovers players are contributing to the autobiography, including Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, Blackpool boss Ian Holloway and former Stoke and Cardiff manager Alan Durbin.
The book, which has almost been completed, is to be published by Vertical Editions, of Skipton, Yorkshire.