THIS week our column’s spotlight falls on a consummate claret of the ‘90s, who in his five seasons at Turf Moor, would under magical manager Jimmy Mullen win promotion for a notable Burnley side twice in three years.
His name? Well here in our picture we can see the one and only Adrian John Randall, known to all Burnley fans as Adie Randall, “The Step-over King”.
Adie was born in Salisbury in 1968 and the Wiltshire schoolboy was spotted by talent scouts early on and was signed on for Bournemouth FC on his leaving school as a full-time apprentice.
Adies’s midfield skills won him two England youth caps, playing alongside Matt Le Tissier, Vinnie Samways, Andy Hinchliffe and Kevin Pressman and shortly after the Cannes Youth Tournament he was playing in the Bournemouth first team.
In 1988 Adie signed for Aldershot, playing 107 games for them until December 1991 when manager Jimmy Mullen’s very first signing for Burnley was Adie for a £40,000 fee.
Five splendid seasons and 150 games for the Clarets saw Adie a firm favourite at Turf Moor, although in the winter of 1995 his skills saw him sign for York City for a fee of £140,000.
Injuries saw Adie leave the game and he became a postman back in his native Salisbury, eventually in 2002 becoming a postman-driver at our Royal Mail Pendle Delivery Office in Nelson. On Adie’s very first day at our office someone threw a football over to him and with great skill Adie took the ball on his feet round the entire office floor without it touching the ground once, as we all gave him a huge cheer.
Today Adie’s back down south with his family, but I’m most proud to say that working as a colleague and friend with Adie was a sheer joy for in his heyday Adrian Randall gave all Claret fans a touch of magic we’ll never forget.