Fellow Crazy Gang member, Vinnie Jones, said of Wise:
“Wisey is one of those little big men in the mould of Billy Bremner. Five foot nothing off the pitch, ten feet tall on it.”
Wise moved to Chelsea for a then club record fee of £1,6m in 1990. He made 445 appearances for the Blues and captained the club to four cup success – FA Cup 1997 and 2000, League Cup 1998 and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1998. Wise had now moved in to a more central midfield position and his aggressive style of play lead to numerous yellow and red cards. He missed 15 games of the 1998-99 season through suspension. Alex Ferguson said he “could start a fight in an empty house” and Ryan Giggs added:
“Whatever player he’s up against, he tries to wind them up. If he fouls you he normally picks you up, but the referee doesn’t see what he picks you up by.”
After Chelsea he had stays at Leicester, Millwall, Southampton and Coventry towards the end of his career. As player-manager of Millwall he lead them to an FA Cup Final appearance in 2004. The first club from outside the top division to appear in a final since Sunderland in 1992.
Wise won 21 caps for England between 1991 and 2000.
A final quote from another fiery midfielder, Gordon Strachan:
“Dennis is never involved in anything but he’s always there. He’s like the old lady who has been driving for 50 years and never been in an accident – but seen dozens.”
Quotes from The Book of Football Quotations by Phil Shaw.