The Aston Villa boss played a key role in luring the defender to the Midlands.
Indeed, before he joined, Sherwood reassured Richards that he would be playing regular football again at Villa Park and that he believed in his ability as a defender.
And that was enough to convince Richards, who has since been appointed Aston Villa captain by the coach.
So persuasive was Sherwood that there was 'only really one place' the defender then wanted to go after speaking with him.
The 27-year-old told Sport: "Tim Sherwood was a massive part of my decision in coming back to England. After I spoke to him there was only really one place where I wanted to go. He just told me that he believed in my ability and that I’d benefit from playing regular football, which was a massive thing for me.
"During the last couple of years I was at Manchester City I was on the bench all the time. It wasn’t normal for me. I didn’t know how to react to it. So to be playing regular football again is just perfect for me."
As Opta stats show, Richards has made his mark early on at Aston Villa, although his greatest qualities will no doubt be less tangible - his leadership from the back, experience and perhaps positional sense.
Richards hasn't won too many tackles since joining Villa but has won plenty of interceptions and headers, also joining fellow centre-back Ciaran Clark in making many clearances.
Alongside recent arrival Joleon Lescott, meanwhile, the 27-year-old will hope he can form an effective partnership with a man he knows well from their time together at Manchester City.