- Date of Birth11 Jul 1963
- BirthplaceNuneaton, Warwickshire
Legends are born and made at Welford Road and few make a bigger mark than Dean Richards.
A talismanic presence in the Tigers back row, with shirt loose and sock down, Richards had the ability to read the game around him and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time on the pitch.
A Hinckley policeman, he made his Leicester debut in 1982 and the crowd’s chants of ‘Deano Deano’ became a feature of matchdays for the next 15 years in honour if his mauling strength, control at the base of any scrum and inspirational leadership of those around him.
A league title winner in 1988 and again as captain in 1995, Richards totalled 314 first-team games for Tigers, leading the team as skipper from 1988-91 and again 1993-96.
He earned 48 caps for England – a world record for a No8 at the time – including the run to the 1995 World Cup Final and played in six Tests for the Lions.
At the end of his playing days, Richards became Leicester’s director of rugby and enjoyed a trophy-laden spell from 1999.
Under Richards, Leicester claimed four successive league titles, added the inaugural Zurich Championship for good measure and went to Paris to win the club’s first European title at the Parc des Princes in 2001, making up for the loss in their first final four years earlier.
The team followed up by retaining Europe’s crown with victory over Munster in 2002, becoming the first team to win the elite competition in successive years.
Richards also enjoyed success as director of rugby at Harlequins, leading them back into the Premiership, and had a spell with Grenoble in France before taking charge at Newcastle Falcons.