A WHITWELL resident of 54 years, David (Dickie) Randall has died peacefully in hospital.

David was born at St John’s Road, Wroxall, to Ralph and Dorothy Randall in February, 1938, and grew up in the village with his older brother, Denis.

He attended Wroxall School and Ventnor Secondary Modern where he represented the school at both football and cricket.

Here he met Gwen Russell, of Whitwell, who was later to become his wife.

Before leaving school David joined the Air Training Corps, East Wight Squadron, before later joining the RAF as a boy entrant in February 1955.

He trained at RAF Cosford and RAF St Athan, and was then posted to RAF Bruggen, Germany, in 1959, where he was part of 317 Mechanical Transport Squadron.

He was later posted back to the UK to RAF Cottesmore where the station commander was his boyhood hero – Group Captain Johnnie Johnson, Britain’s most successful fighter pilot of the Second World War.

His sporting ability was soon recognised and he was awarded colours in athletics and football.

Isle of Wight County Press: David Randall is back row, second from left. Well known IW football referee Andy King is directly in front of David.

David Randall is back row, second from left. Well known IW football referee Andy King is directly in front of David.

He competed at these and cricket in RAF teams with and against many well-known footballers.

His passion for sport even prompted him to request an exchange to RAF Thorney Island so that he could easily travel back home to play football for Shanklin and cricket for Ventnor at weekends.

His greatest love was cricket and he played for Ventnor in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

David left the RAF in January, 1966, and started working at the Shanklin depot of Southern Vectis as a mechanic.

In the same year he was reunited with his school sweetheart Gwen.

They married at Whitwell Methodist Chapel in October, 1967, and settled in the village, later having three daughters.

They enjoyed 44 years of marriage before Gwen died in 2011.

David also worked at Transatlantic Plastics at Upper Ventnor, as a lighthousekeeper at St Catherine’s and for Arreton Valley Tractors.

He returned to Southern Vectis's Newport depot as a fitter for more than 20 years before his retirement aged 60.

He was later well known around Ventnor as a delivery driver.

David was a life-long Pompey fan and interested in horse racing.

He was an active member of the former IW Badger Protection Group and loved feeding and watching the badgers who visited his garden most evenings for the past 35 years.

David leaves behind his companion, Janet, daughters, Helen, Anita and Gillian, their partners and three grandsons, Jack, Harry and Thomas.

See announcements section for details of funeral arrangements.