Dean was career Royal Air Force officer who played an instrumental role in opening-the-door to official recognition of rugby league in the UK Armed Forces. He has been both Chair and President of Royal Air Force and UK Armed Forces Rugby Leagues. He was President of the RFL from 2016 to 2018. He has state awards from the UK, US and Germany for his operational flying and humanitarian work in crises areas around the world.
Dean was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, where he played rugby league before joining the Air Force. He lives in Germany and is a dual German/UK national.