Looking back on former Spurs youth team player and regular Del Deanus’ time at Spurs (a commemorative piece):

As a footballer the late Del Deanus was a tenacious, talented and old school English centre-half, and a footballer whose talents had been recognised by his country England, at schoolboy international level. Del was born in north west London in 1973, and was brought up in Neasden, in St Raphael’s Estate, and he started his football career by playing football for local side Larkspur Rovers. The former Middlesex Schools footballer was scouted by Spurs in the 1980s, and would join the club after signing Associated Schoolboy forms in 1988. He was part of a very talented Spurs youth team age group, after joining the club on a full-time basis. However, in-between that time the centre-half was called-up to represent his country, England, at international Schoolboy level, winning one cap for them, in a match in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, against the Northern Ireland Schoolboy side. Del played with some very good players in that England side, and when he did join Spurs full-time, he would also share a pitch with some great teammates during his Spurs days. Players such as Jeff Minton, Nicky Barmby, Kevin Watson, Darren Caskey, Paul Mahorn, Chris Day, Steve Slade, Stuart Nethercott and Danny Hill.

The tough but equally talented central-defender who was often a regular for the senior Spurs South-East Counties League Division 1 side during his first season as a YTS, the defender who was also a real character as his old teammates remember, must have really enjoyed that season with the club. Also, for example during the 1990/91 season, Del was a regular for the senior Spurs South-East Counties League Division 1 side when they won the league, and he often started matches for Keith Waldon’s side. He would actually start 21 consecutive matches during that season, for that Spurs side. Del also scored a goal for the senior Spurs youth team in a 5-1 home win over Watford, during the 1990/91 season. The defender would also make some appearances for the Spurs reserve side in the Combination League during his time at the club, but would leave Spurs after being released by the club at the end of the following 1991/92 season (Del did have some injury problems during his time at the club). He would later play for Fulham, where he played for their reserve side, later Enfield and then Greensboro Dynamos, in America.

After returning to England Del had some trials with some English clubs, before playing non-League football for the likes of Windsor & Eton, Egham Town and Southall. After having to retire from the game at the age of only 26, Del Deanus went into coaching and management. He was with Southall and also Northwood (Del coached future Watford and United States international Jay DeMerit at both clubs) as a football coach, before then going into management. He would go onto become joint-manager with Steve Newing, at a number of non-League sides, such as Enfield (where both were named the Ryman Division One League North manager of the month, at one point), Edgware Town and Leyton. During Del’s time in management, he also worked outside of football as well, during that time. Very sadly Del Deanus was diagnosed in 2008 with Motor Neurone Disease. However, this didn’t stop the former Spurs man from writing an autobiography, called Memories Never Die. There was also a game that was played for charity, at Del’s old side Edgware Town, at their White Lion Ground. Among the players playing in the match that day, were former Spurs players Darren Caskey and Les Ferdinand, as well as former Arsenal player Paul Merson.

Del was at Spurs at a time in the clubs history when they won the FA Cup in 1991, and although he didn’t get the opportunity to represent the Spurs first team, he would achieve more than many people in football could only dream of. Very sadly Del passed away in 2012, at the age of just 38. Below are some memories of Del, from people who were at the club during Del’s time at Spurs. It is clear from those words, just how popular he was during his Spurs days. 

Some words/memories of Del from old Spurs teammates and people associated with the club:

Former Spurs player Chris Landon: Del was a great lad. He was very funny and a real old school English centre-half who wanted to head the ball and tackle. He loved his dog racing and I’m sure that his dad owned a couple. He was kit man to the Fulham youth team then and he constantly gave the lads losing tips! When Del lost got annoyed in training or in a game, no one was safe! He would go through and tackle anyone, even the big first team stars. He was a lovely lad though, with a heart as big as his personality. Everyone loved Del. 

Former Spurs youth team manager Keith Waldon:  I was shocked to hear of the untimely death of one of our former players in 2012, Del Deanus. Del was a whole hearted player with incredible focus and a strong will to win. He was a leader and an inspiration to all those around him. My condolences continue to go to his family and close friends. He is fondly remembered. Keith Waldon.

Former Spurs player David Culverhouse: My overriding memories of Del was like all the lads have touched on, and that was his great sense of humour! He loved the banter and took it as well as giving it out. I was lucky enough for most of our youth team days to be Del’s centre-back partner. I have to admit I was a bit in awe of Del when we first met. He looked and was built like a full grown man with full stubble to boot, while I was this skinny Rodney Trotter like teenager! We went on to have both a great friendship and playing partnership. He was such a talented player and when angry you wouldn’t want to be on the end of one of his tackles! Loved by many and missed by all. x

Former Spurs player Neil Young: Del Deanus (Del Boy) was a great lad, who was always laughing, joking and just one of the boys. On the park he was a tough tackling centre-half. Loved a tackle and a header, but hated any kind of fitness work, haha!! He hated pre-season.

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