Football Pays Its Final Respects To Richards

Footballers past and present paid their final respects tribute today to former Wolves and Tottenham defender Dean Richards who died last weekend aged 36.

Richards' funeral at Bradford Cathedral, in his home city in West Yorkshire, was attended by many of the colleagues he played alongside in a career which saw him star for a number of clubs and win four England Under-21 caps. Wolves manager Mick McCarthy led the tributes for Richards after his death following a long illness last Saturday.

The former central defender is fondly remembered at the West Midlands club where he moved after impressing with Bradford. He went on to play for Southampton and Tottenham, who paid £8.1million for his services. Richards was forced to retire from the game at the age of 30, in 2005, when he was suffering from dizzy spells and headaches - an illness which was initially diagnosed as an inner ear infection.

Wolves fans chanted his name during their home match against Blackpool last Saturday following the announcement of his death. Richards moved from Bradford to Wolves in 1995, making 145 appearances in a four-year spell and becoming a Molineux favourite.

He subsequently moved on to Southampton, who were then in the top flight, where he spent two years before switching to White Hart Lane. Richards spent four years in north London although his time there was dogged by injury. He made almost 350 appearances in a career spanning 13 years before his retirement.

He returned to the game in August 2007 as a youth-team coach at Bradford. Bradford said the club were 'truly devastated' by his death, while Saints described him as 'a whole-hearted and popular player with fans and colleagues alike'. Spurs said everyone at the club was saddened to hear of Richards' death, and they and Wolves intend to pay a further tribute to Richards when they meet in the Premier League on Sunday.

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