That is how Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio remembers the former Chorley forward who has tragically died.
Vermiglio played alongside the target man as the Magpies won the NPL Premier Division in 2014 before going on to reach the National League North play-off final a year later.
He scored more than 50 goals in well over 100 appearances for the club and pivotal member of that succesfull Magpies squad which also won the LFA Challenge Trophy final.
Vermiglio told Chorleyfc.com: "I was very fortunate to get to know him as a person and a player, and during this time he was pivotal as we won the Northern Premier League title in 2014 before going on to reach the National League North playoff final a year later.
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"He was a typical number 9 – and most managers at this level of football want a number 9 like James Dean. In fact, most managers would say exactly that; ‘We need a striker like James Dean’. The truth is, unless you’ve been with James Dean as a player, coach or manager you wouldn’t actually know that you were inheriting a lot more than just your ‘typical number 9’. On the pitch and off the pitch.
"The usual singing initiation after joining a new club would, for some, be nerve wracking. For Deano, who thought he was the best singer in the world, it was like a dream come true. He would usually start sitting down and before long he was throwing his hands in the air and inviting his team mates to join in. And they would.
"His charisma was integral to the teams he played in and this was evident at Chorley FC, where he not only helped younger players, but inspired all around him. Sometimes ‘Team Spirit’ is superficial, it needs to be developed. But with Deano it was natural; he could single handedly galvanise a team just by being there.
"He most definitely had an ‘aura’ about him and with him on your team (in every sense of the word), you had a chance.
"He could certainly handle himself; his sheer strength coupled with his innate desire to succeed was at times, unstoppable. On the pitch he was aggressive, relentless and tough. Off the pitch and around the club; extremely sensitive, caring and a gentleman.
Central to the jokes and ‘banter’ of the changing room – Deano would have the team in stitches by sharing videos, often of himself, just being daft and ridiculous. Other occasions he would sit back, show his strong character and give a nod of reassurance to some of his team mates.
"Always willing to help around the club, he would inspire young supporters, speak to anyone who wanted to talk to him and give up his time for local charities or to pack bags at the local Morrisons."
Vermiglio insisted Dean would be humbled by all the tributes to him tributes.
He added: "Along with Ken Wright Graham Watkinson and everyone else associated with Chorley FC, I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Deano’s family and friends, and in particular his two boys.
"This is a devastating time for anyone who has known Deano, but particularly for those loved ones and close family and friends who he leaves behind."
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