He fit the bill as the archetypal front man of the day. At 6’3” tall he was big and strong, good in the air and held the ball up well, allied with decent pace and the ability to run in behind defenders, Brian Deane had all the necessary qualities as a front man.
Undoubtedly talented though still quite raw as he entered the first team, having been nurtured through the ranks, he performed well in a Rovers side which struggled, and eventually established himself as the teams talisman whilst still a teenager, ending the 1987-88 season as the team’s top scorer with a creditable 10 league goals.
With financial problems never far away, a move for one a the clubs most saleable assets always looked on the cards and in the summer of 1988, Sheffield Utd acquired his services for a poultry £30,000.
He went on to develop as his early promise suggested he might, scoring the goals which took Sheffield Utd to the top league in England. Indeed, he had the honour of scoring the first ever Premier League goal in 1992 when he scored an early strike against Manchester Utd and went on to win 3 caps for England. His goals consistently caught the eye and he moved to Leeds for £2.9m in 1993.
He continued to play at the highest level and moved briefly back to Bramhall Lane in 1992 for £1.5m before spells with Benfica, Middlesbrough, Leicester, West Ham, Leeds again and Sunderland. Over the course of his career he amassed transfer fees totalling in excess of £8.5m and scored over 200 goals making him the jewel that the Rovers unearthed and then sold for relative peanuts