He said: "When I was young I supported Arsenal, and Vieira - and Keane - were my two favourite players.
"Vieira was all over the pitch and Keane had his great leadership skills as well.
"They were great box-to-box players and I would wear the Vieira shirt on the streets when I was young.
"It's all right if it is fair."
Richards is a level-headed character who has not forgotten the area he was brought up in and he still keeps in touch with his school friends.
But he wants to follow his father Lincoln in playing his part in a soccer school being set up for under-privileged children in Ethiopia.
He said: "My dad is out in Africa in Ethiopia setting up a soccer school for kids for three years, just trying to give kids a chance.
"I hope to get involved in that myself in the next couple of years. Sometimes you only get one chance in life and if you can help others, that's great.
"I come from a rough area in Chapeltown and a lot of people around there didn't have things so I know what that sort of thing is about."