Monday 14 July 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Dean Richards made his first move to a Barclays Premier League club when he joined Southampton from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 25-year-old central defender, who started his career at Bradford City, left Molineux on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling and agreed a four-year contract with Saints.
In his first season, Richards was the model of consistency and made more Barclays Premier League appearances than any other Southampton player – starting 35 out of 38 matches – and won the club's supporters' player of the year award.
Richards was also a regular the following season and, after 67 top-flight appearances and three goals for the club, his former Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle signed him for his new club Tottenham Hotspur in September 2001.
He scored on his Spurs debut in a 5-3 defeat by Manchester United and was a consistent performer for three seasons.
Richards was forced to retire from the game in March 2005 because of ill health after playing 73 times for Tottenham Hotspur in the top flight.
He returned to football two years later as a coach at Bradford but his illness took hold again and he sadly passed away in February 2011 at the age of 36.
The following month a Barclays Premier League match between Spurs and Wolves was made a tribute fixture and representatives from each of his old sides attended the occasion.