SAD TO say goodbye to my friend David Randall who has died suddenly, aged 70. David, who rose from being a trainee on the Croydon Advertiser to the editorship and subsequently to senior positions on the Observer and Independent on Sunday, was one of the finest journalists i have worked with in a long career. Not for him the ego-tripping and bluster of many senior figures in the trade – David’s skills were understated and yet his talents were magical. Give him some raw ideas and he would turn them into gold. It was no wonder the cry went out in the newsrooms: “Send for Randall”. In addition to his exceptional day-to-day newspaper skills, David wrote what is for me the defining book on how to be a good journalist. ‘The Universal Journalist” has run into many editions, inspiring writers young and old, and I’m certain it will remain the gold-standard manual for many years to come . In his later years David was an inspiration to many young journalists – he was loved by my students at the University of Central Lancashire as well as many others, and his seminars were regarded as pure joy . Farewell, then, David – i’m sure that up there they will still be relying on you to sort the words into the right order!