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Mark Randall reaches landmark

Mark Randall reaches landmark

By Mark Phipps
29th August
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600 games played


To play 600 games for a football club is a remarkable achievement, but to do it at only 32 years of age is truly something special.

Mark Randall has hit the 600-game landmark for his beloved Wells City, having scored more than 100 goals for them in that time as well, and he has no plans to hang up his boots any time soon.

Having grown up in Wells, Mark went to both Wells Central and Wells Blue School before starting out his footballing career with the club.

Mark, who is known as Rands to his fellow players, said: "I started playing at the age of 14 for our newly-formed third team at the time, Frome Collegians being my first game, away from home, where we drew 2-2.

"This was 18 years ago, and it does feel that long ago too! I then moved up to the reserve side the following year before getting into the first team properly at 16.

"Back then I was a tricky winger with a bit of pace - those days are gone unfortunately - and helped Wells win the Somerset County Cup in 2007 and promotion back to the Western League, after a long time away, the following season.

"Two years after this we managed to win the Western League, not since 1949 had a Wells side managed to achieve this, so it was a very proud moment for us all, and we have been playing in the Western League ever since."

Mark says there are a couple of memorable games that stand out among the 600. Against Imperial he scored a hat-trick and an own goal in a 5-1 win. Beating Shepton Mallet 3-0 at home to clinch the Western League was also a highlight.

Football runs in the Randall family, as Mark's dad Paul is a former professional player, having played league football for Bristol Rovers and Stoke City. Paul also played at Wells and Mark says playing in all three senior sides together is a great memory.

Mark said: I’ve managed to be part of five promotion seasons, County Cup winners and Western League winners with the various Wells sides over the years, so have been lucky to have been part of a successful period in the club's history.

"I scored my 100th goal towards the end of last season away at Cheddar and nothing can still beat being out on the pitch.

"Who knows how long I’ll keep going for - as I’ve got older the legs do need that extra day or so to get over the knocks you pick up, but as long as I’m fit and healthy and can be of use to someone I’ll pull the Wells shirt on."

Wells City joint manager Nathan Truckle said: "Rands is a club legend and he's only 32.

"He's been playing men's football since he was 14 and he still shows so much devotion and dedication to not only the club but the sport itself.

"To reach 600 games in men's football is a feat in itself but to do that for one club and to have played many of those games at Western League level is truly remarkable and won't happen too often at all.

"I've known Rands for most of his senior football career and I can honestly say that you would struggle to find a more genuine bloke in the game, he is a gentleman on and off the field, bar the odd angry shout at a ref or linesman, which he will argue is always necessary!

"The quality in that wand of a left foot has not wavered and we still rely heavily upon him in the first team set up.

"Only Rands can tell you how he's done it and how long he will continue to do it but it has been a privilege to play alongside him for many a year and now have the privilege to manage him.

"Let's hope we have a couple more memorable seasons before he hangs those magical boots up."

Article courtesy of @WellsNubNews - https://wells.nub.news/

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