Tributes paid to former Sheffield United player Brian Richardson after his death, aged 85

Tributes have been paid to former Sheffield United player Brian Richardson who has passed away aged 85.

Saturday, 30th May 2020, 7:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 4:56 pm

Brian was born in Sheffield in 1934 and first joined the Blades as an amateur in 1954. He made 336 appearances for the club, scoring nine goals over a 12-year period before later playing for Swindon Town and Rochdale.

He spent three years playing for United's nursery club, Oaks Fold, but his break came when club legend Jack Smith spotted him playing for the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA youth team and recommended his services to the club. Three years later he became a first team player under the management of Joe Mercer.

A tribute on the club’s website read: “Brian played a major part in what is regarded as one of the finest defences in our history, alongside Joe Shaw, Cec Coldwell, Graham Shaw, Alan Hodgkinson and Gerry Summers.

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Brian Richardson has died aged 85.

“Superb in the air and fearsome in the tackle, his energy and determination were a huge part of what made the team tick, and he was liked and respected by all.”

Former team-mate Len Badger added: "I am so sorry to hear of Brian's passing. When I came in to the first team frame at the tender age of 17, he and Joe Shaw took me under their wings. What better grounding could a young lad have in the game - they were chalk and cheese - Joe was sheer class, but 'Richo' was the tireless worker, closing down, marshaling, totally fearless.

"He was a proper player, a Sheffield lad with the heart of a lion, he epitomised what it took to play for Sheffield United and I was really privileged to share the same field as him."

One Blades fan wrote on social media: “RIP Brian, great defender in that famous defence that served united for many years.”

Another supporter wrote: “Remember him well – part of a great team. RIP Brian thanks for some special memories.”

And another said: “I used to watch Rocco as a kid in my first ever Blades team. He was a hard-as-nails ball-winner.”