"Deano" signed for Barry awards gala

AWARDS GALA: Barry Town United's annual awards gala will be held at the St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on June 6 when former Wales international Dean Saunders will be the guest speaker.

AWARDS GALA: Barry Town United's annual awards gala will be held at the St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on June 6 when former Wales international Dean Saunders will be the guest speaker.

First published in Sport

FORMER Wales international Dean Saunders will be the guest speaker at Barry Town United's annual awards gala at the St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on Friday, June 6.

Emerging in the mid-1980s, the forward, known affectionately as 'Deano,' earned a total of 75 caps for Wales, making him the nation's fourth most capped player.

Saunders is also one of only four men to have scored more than 20 times for the national side in an international career that spanned three decades.

Among his many career highlights, Saunders scored the winner to help Wales to their one and only win over Brazil at Cardiff's National Stadium in 1991.

An FA Cup winner with Liverpool, Saunders also became the first Anfield player to score four times in a European fixture, before becoming Aston Villa's record signing at the dawn of the new English Premier League.

After earning a Premier League runners-up medal in his inaugural season at Villa Park, Saunders wrote his name in the club's history books, scoring twice in the League Cup Final victory over Alex Ferguson's Manchester United at Wembley.

As well as wearing the colours of both Cardiff and Swansea City, Saunders later enjoyed two stints playing abroad, donning the colours of both Galatasaray in Turkey and Portuguese giants Benfica.

Meanwhile, during his time at Sheffield United, Saunders scored one of the most unique Football League goals in memory, likely to be another talking point on the night.

Turning his hand to management, Saunders guided the fortunes of Wrexham, as well as Doncaster Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship.

A UEFA Pro Licence holder, Saunders also coached in the Premier League at Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, before serving as John Toshack's assistant manager of Wales over a three-year period.

With a wealth of experience on and off the pitch in a variety of settings, an entertaining speech is anticipated, with Barry group 'Back to November' already confirmed as musical support.

Tickets for the event (7pm start) are available at £40 a head, with the club hoping to continue the success of previous events when Ray Wilkins, Matthew Le Tissier and John Hartson addressed the Barry faithful.

A host of players' awards will also be presented on the evening, with award sponsorship also available via 07557 665 847 or by contacting the club via www.twitter.com/barrytownunited

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