Brian Deane

Inside The Dressing Room: Brian Deane's City Memories

Former Leicester City forward Brian Deane looks back on his time at the Club for LCFC Radio’s Inside The Dressing Room podcast.
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The former England international striker arrived at Leicester in November 2001 and would go on to make 56 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 19 times.

Deane started his career at Doncaster Rovers, before joining Sheffield United for the first of three spells with the Blades, for whom he scored the Premier League's first ever goal in 1992.

Further spells at Leeds United, Benfica and then Middlesbrough followed, before he became a Fox just after the turn of the century.

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Brian Deane
Brian Deane

Deane scored the first ever Premier League goal during the first of his three spells at Sheffield United.

In a career of firsts, Deane also scored the first goal in a competitive game at King Power Stadium in 2002, scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Watford.

He experienced a Premier League relegation and then a promotion in his two seasons at City, going on to play for West Ham United, Leeds United and Sunderland before ending his playing career back at Bramall Lane.

For the final episode of the first series of LCFC Radio's Inside The Dressing Room podcast, Deane sat down with presenter Dan Bates to discuss how he came to play for the Club and why it holds such a special place in his heart.

His arrival at City

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Brian Deane & Dave Bassett
Brian Deane & Dave Bassett

Deane linked up with former manager Bassett at Filbert Street during the 2001/02 season.

Deane said: "I was at Middlesbrough and Steve McLaren took over and within two days he pulled me into his office and said I wasn't in his plans. I'm a fighter and when he said that, it really hurt. I went away crushed and I thought 'I'm going to prove him wrong'. I spoke to Dave Bassett and he was doing a rescue job to a degree. I was happy to come down there, it was something different and an interesting time for the Club. In the end I had a few other options but I fancied Leicester. I looked at who the squad was and thought 'they're in the Premier League, this is an opportunity to try and help keep the Club up'."

Bonding through the ups and downs

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Brian Deane
Brian Deane

Deane believes the players all formed a strong bond during what was a testing time for the Club.

Deane said: "There was some adversity in the fact that the Club nearly went to the wall, but I think a lot of us grew up when that happened. We were all of a sudden staring into an abyss with the possibility of the Club going into liquidation. The stadium had just been finished but the finances weren't in place and the boys all got together on the training pitch and said 'listen, we've got to get the Club out of this' and we took it upon ourselves. We said 'we are good enough to get out of this division and we've got to push each other on'. I'll never forget that. We bonded in a way that I've not had to bond with other squads. We were a tight group, we had really good camaraderie in there the whole time from when I moved there."

Fond memories

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Brian Deane
Brian Deane

Deane looks back fondly on his time at City, which included a Premier League relegation and a promotion.

Deane said: "I had a great time. There were some testing times, but overall, any time I think of Leicester it's with a smile on my face because I loved coming and living down there, I loved my teammates, we had such a laugh. It was brilliant time in my life and I was really sad to leave if I'm honest. I found a flat in Glenfield and just had a brilliant time. It was one of the happiest times of my career both on and off the pitch."

Finding the net

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Brian Deane
Brian Deane

Deane celebrates scoring against Preston North End, one of his 19 goals for the Club.

Deane said: "I love scoring goals, it's as simple as that. That's what I always got the most joy from. The goals against Southampton, the goals against Everton, the other goals that I scored, [they are] great memories from me."

The jokers in the pack

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Brian Deane & Matt Elliott
Brian Deane & Matt Elliott

Matt Elliott was one of the jokers in the dressing room, according to Deane.

Deane said: "There are too many to mention! Imps (Andy Impey) cracks me up even to this day, I spoke to him yesterday. He used to come in every morning from London and everyone north of Watford he used to call northern. He was a funny character and different people were funny in different ways. The likes of Gerry [Taggart] and Matt [Elliott], those guys are just funny the same way, I could spend all day with them. Alan Rodgers, a scouser, very funny guy and the young guys like Jordan Stewart. It was a great changing room, one of the best."

A special place to be

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Brian Deane
Brian Deane

Next stop: West Ham United. Deane moved to the Hammers after leaving Leicester in 2003.

Deane said: "Everybody rallied around each other and that was the special thing about Leicester, it was a joy to go in. You left all of your troubles outside of training and outside of the games. I can't speak highly enough of that squad. It was a great lesson in my life, the beginning of the time where I thought I needed to show some leadership qualities as well and that was a great opportunity for me to do that."

Podcast

Inside The Dressing Room: Episode 10 - Brian Deane

Brian Deane, the scorer of the first-ever Premier League goal, looks back on his time at Leicester City.

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