Wolverhampton Wanderers: top 30 players: Number 17

Dean Richards would spend his best footballing years elsewhere, but he developed into a Premier League centre-back during his time at Molineux.


The life of Dean Richards was tragically cut short at the age of 36, but before his death, he had performed to a high level with both Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, with his nurturing taking place at Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1995 and 1999.


Richards had excelled for Bradford City before he was given the opportunity at Molineux, and his performances were recognised by the England Under-21 setup who installed him as captain for the Toulon tournament in 1995.


Richards's progression for his club continued but injuries sustained on a car crash stinted his development with Wolves. In the years that followed, he would still make 20-plus appearances per season but he deserved much more.


His biggest accomplishment came in the 1997-98 campaign when he helped the Black Country outfit reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup, starring in wins over Premier League teams Wimbledon and Leeds United before they finally succumbed to Arsenal.


His final year would be more positive, with 46 appearances being made in all competitions, but he made the decision to leave the club on a free transfer and he eventually penned a deal with Southampton after 145 games and eight goals. Despite his time with Wolves being hindered by fitness issues, he will always be fondly remembered by everyone associated with the Championship club.

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