R.I.P: Dean Richards

Former Wolves and Spurs defender, Dean Richards, 36, has died after failing to recover from a long-term illness…

Richards Started  his career at Bradford City – as a youth player from 1990-1992 and as a  first team player between 1992 and 1995 - making 86 appearances for the club scoring 4 goals for the club. He then made the switch to promotion chasing Wolves, who signed the player for a club record £1.85 million in 1995.  After only a year at the club Richards was promoted to team captain, but he unfortunately failed to lead  Wolves to the Premiership despite reaching the play-off places on three opportunities.

He did however make it to the Premiership in 1999 when he signed by Southampton on a free-transfer. He quicky became a key player and was voted the clubs player of the year in his first season.  Despite injuries, Richards continued to impress and eventually a bigger side came knocking in the form of Tottenham. He signed for the club for  8.1 million in 2001, impressing new manager, and former England manager, Glen Hoddle but not the current England coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson.

In 2005, after 73 games and four games for Spurs, Richards was forced to retire after a recommendation by his doctor on the “evidence that it would be harmful to his health to continue”. At the time he released a statement saying: “I am obviously deeply disappointed to be giving up the sport I love, but it’s the only choice.” He was suffering from frequent dizzy spells and headaches owing to an inner-ear infection – which was obviously far more complicated than first suspected.

In 2007 Richards was made youth-team coach at Bradford City, ending his career where he started.

A statement on the Bantams’ website read: “The club are truly devastated to hear of the death of former Bradford City fans’ favourite Dean Richards.”

Our thoughts go out to his family.

here for the footballing journey.