Bradford

Funeral for footballer Dean Richards in Bradford

Dean Richards' coffin is carried into Bradford Cathedral
Image caption Family and friends were joined by Dean Richards' former team-mates for the service in Bradford

Premier League stars joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral of former footballer Dean Richards in his home city of Bradford.

The ex-Bradford, Wolves, Southampton and Tottenham defender died, aged 36, last Saturday after a long illness.

The service at Bradford Cathedral was attended by former team-mates including Robbie Keane, James Beattie, Don Goodman, Tony Daley and Steve Bull.

Former Bradford City manager Chris Kamara also attended the service.

Firm favourite

He said: "Deano was a giant. He played with elegance and composure and was a joy to watch. He was a star player with a Rolls-Royce engine.

"In the football community we're all stunned. You can't get your head round it. He was someone who brought joy to everyone and, if you knew him, played with him or worked with him, you knew what a character he was."

In 2007 Richards was made youth-team coach at Bradford City, his home town club and where he started his career.

Image caption West Ham's Robbie Keane, who played with Richards at Wolves, was at the funeral with his wife

Mark Lawn, Bradford City joint-chairman, said: "He was a nice guy and very down-to-earth.

"Players now would be a lot better men if they took a leaf out of his book.

"He came back in 2007 to coach the youth players, but I don't think we paid him. That was a mark of the man - he just wanted to give something back."

Wolves fans chanted Richards' name during their home match against Blackpool last Saturday following the announcement of his death.

In 1995 Richards joined Wolves where he became a firm favourite.

He went on to play for Southampton for two years before moving to Tottenham, who paid £8.1m for his services.

He spent four years in north London although his time there was dogged by injury.

In 2005 he was forced to retire from the game at the age of 30, when he was suffering from dizzy spells and headaches - an illness which was initially diagnosed as an ear infection.

Richards made almost 350 appearances in a career spanning 13 years before his retirement.

He returned to the game in August 2007 as Bradford youth team coach.

Bradford City said the club was "truly devastated" by his death.

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