This article was originally published on October 24th 2022.
Micah Richards credits Richard Dunne.
Micah Richards has credited former Ireland defender Richard Dunne with helping him early on in his Manchester City career.
Dunne was club captain as Richards was making his way into the first team during an era that is far-removed from Man City’s current status as one of the richest clubs in the world.
At the time, Richards was seen as one of English football’s brightest talents and the now-Sky Sports pundit has been reflecting on how difficult his life was made by some senior players as he was breaking through.
Micah Richards: “Richard Dunne walked me through every game.”
“Honestly, they’re horrible,” says Richards in an interview with The Guardian. “It’s like borderline bullying – that’s how bad it is. I had great old pros like Richard Dunne, who walked me through every game, but I was the only one from City in the England squad and some didn’t like it.”
Away from the international scene, Richards couldn’t have asked for a better role model to guide him through his early days at Man City.
Dunne arrived at the club in the summer of 2000, just months after making his senior Ireland debut against Greece.
At the end of his first season, City suffered relegation from the Premier League, but the centre-back and the club managed to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt.
It wasn’t long before Dunne began to be seen as a rock for the club as they bounced around mid-table under the likes of Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce and Mark Hughes.
It was Pearce who handed the Tallaght native the club captaincy in 2006 and he held on to it until his departure for Aston Villa in 2010.
Famously, as Man City began plotting world domination under their new Abu Dhabi-ownership, then-chief executive Garry Cook was quite disparaging of a player who was named club player of the year on four occasions.
“China and India are gagging for football content to watch and we’re going to tell them that City is their content,” said Cook. “We need a superstar to get through that door. Richard Dunne doesn’t roll off the tongue in Beijing.”
While Dunne may able to walk through the streets of the Chinese capital without being swarmed by autograph-hunters, he is certainly remembered fondly by City fans who remember his massive contribution to the club in the mid-2000s.
Richards, it seems, feels the very same.