Premier League - Former defender Dean Richards dies at 36

Sat, 26 Feb 13:25:00 2011

Former Bradford, Wolves, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur defender Dean Richards has died aged 36 after a long illness.

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The centre-back played over 400 games in 13 years as a professional, but was forced to retire in 2005, at just 30, after complaining of dizzy spells and headaches.

He was initially diagnosed with an inner-ear infection and underwent a brain scan, but was reportedly told the chances of having a tumour were "extremely low".

Richards started his career in his home town of Bradford, before earning a £1.85 million move to Wolves in 1995.

He moved to Premier League Southampton in 1999, and two years later followed manager Glenn Hoddle to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £8.1 million.

However, his Spurs career was disrupted by injury and he remains one of the most expensive English players never to win a senior international cap.

Richards had been youth-team coach at Bradford since 2007.

A statement on the Wolves website read: "Everyone at Wolves was saddened to hear of the death of Dean Richards, who passed away this morning after a battle with serious illness.

"Remembered for his trademark skilful breaks out of defence as well as his ability in the air, Richards will always be fondly remembered by Wolves fans who continued to follow his career closely when he moved on to Southampton and Tottenham."

Wolves and Tottenham confirmed there will be a tribute paid to him before the teams' Premier League match on Sunday 6 March.

A Spurs statement said: "We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Dean Richards at this very sad time."


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