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4 March 2011, 09:38
The world of football will pay tribute today (March 4th) to former Southampton defender Dean Richards who died last month aged 36.
Richards' funeral at Bradford Cathedral, in his home city in West Yorkshire, is expected to be 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.
He also played for Wolves and Spurs during his career. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy led the tributes for Richards after his death following a long illness on February 26.
He went on to play for Southampton and Tottenham, who paid more than £8 million 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.
Last month, Wolves fans chanted his name at a match 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 crowd 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 for £8.1 million, despite not having earned any senior international caps for England.
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. A statement from 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 issued a statement saying everyone at the club was saddened to hear of Richards's death.