First published in The Pink, Saturday March 12, 2011

EVERYONE in football was saddened by the loss of Dean Richards.

Although he came in for a far bit of stick on the handful of times he played for Spurs against Saints, we all knew that was just because we were the jilted lovers in the affair.

He was undeniably a great player, and the blow of losing such a talent was hard to take – even if there was a huge price tag attached to the transfer.

It was only two years he played in red and white, but in that time he was a rock.

In fact, just over a year ago, I was given a signed picture of Marian Pahars celebrating at The Dell, with Dean Richards running alongside him.

It currently sits on my living room wall.

Watching the tribute last weekend at Molineux – as well as Sky’s own moving tribute – was a very emotional thing. Not least when James Beattie broke down into tears.

However, I can’t help but think Saints dropped the ball by not arranging a minute’s silence, applause or even a black armband at either of the two home games since Richards’s untimely death.

A brief chant of “There’s only one Dean Richards” by the Northam Stand was most welcome during the Yeovil match, but I can’t help but think something a bit more formal from the club – a public display of respect if you will – was missing.

I appreciate there was a brief statement the day the terrible news came out and something in the match programme, but football pays its respects in the stand and on the pitch.

This is not a moan at the club, but rather a gentle nudge to remember that relatively small gestures go a very long way.