He added: “I always wanted to be a footballer and always liked the idea of playing in the Premier League. I had played in League One (the third tier) with Walsall, then the Championship.
“My dad and granddad would be so proud. I rang my wife (Stacey and mother of their two children, Myles and Amelia) and said I’m going there to his graveside.
“However, at 6 in the evening it was shut so I went out with the team.
“Then the next morning I went with a thermos of tea to the cemetery and had a cup of tea and sat there talking to his gravestone.”
Deeney, who has set up his own foundation to help seriously ill children and distributes football kit to youngsters on the tough estate where he once lived in Birmingham, says he has used his prison experience to advise young offenders.
“I would probably stay away from talking in prisons because I had a career going in and I had one going out,” said Deeney, who invited two of the prison guards to the Championship play-off final in 2014 as a way of thanking them for encouraging him to go to the prison gym and keep fit.
“I can’t resonate with a lot of people there as there are a lot who have lived on that same road (crime) and once they are out they go back to doing the same thing.
“Driving out there in a Range Rover probably doesn’t sit well with them,” added Deeney, who nevertheless stays in touch with two of the inmates he considers friends.
Deeney spoke to AFP after speaking at Sport Industry NextGen in partnership with Barclays.