Lucas Radebe
Lucas Radebe
Personal information
Date of Birth 12 April 1969
Place of Birth South Africa
Leeds career
Playing position Defender
Number 5
Senior 9/1994 - 6/2005

Lucas Valeriu Radebe (born April 12, 1969) is a former Leeds United player.

Radebe was born in the Diepkloof section of Soweto, near Johannesburg, as one of eleven children. When he was 15 years old he was sent to the "bantustan" of Bophuthatswana by his parents in order to keep him away from the violence that was affecting Soweto during the apartheid era. In order to keep himself busy during his stay in Bophuthatswana, Radebe played football (as a goalkeeper).

Lucas and another South African player, Philemon "Chippa" Masinga, moved to Leeds United in 1994. Radebe became a star player for Leeds and was nicknamed "The Chief" by its fans partly due to his previous club, Kaizer Chiefs, and partly his absolute rule in defence. In recognition of his leadership and ability, Radebe was appointed captain of the team for the 1998/99 season. As captain of Leeds, Radebe was very successful: in the 1998/1999 season, Leeds finished fourth in the FA Premier League qualifying for the UEFA Cup. During the 1999/2000 season, Leeds finished third in the Premier League and qualified for the Champions League, reaching the semi-finals. However, in 2000, Radebe sustained knee and ankle injuries, which kept him out of the game for almost two years.

At the end of the 2005 season, Radebe retired from professional football in a star-studded testimonial match at Elland Road involving players from all around the world, and Leeds United players past and present. He has been offered a role on the Leeds United coaching staff as a result. He is still a crowd favourite at Elland Road with the fans still singing his name even after his retirement showing how much he endeared himself to the fans during his playing career.

Lucas held a testimonial at Elland Road on May 2, 2005 attended by a crowd of over 37,886. The final score was Leeds United XI 3-7 International XI. Numerous International Stars and Leeds United Legends turned out for the game showing how well regarded Lucas is throughout the world of football. The players included Gary McAllister, Vinnie Jones, Jay-Jay Okocha, Mario Melchiot, John Carew, Bruce Grobbelaar, Olivier Dacourt, Nigel Martyn, Gunnar Halle, Neil Sullivan, David Batty, Gary Speed, Gordon Strachan, Gary Kelly, Clyde Wijnhard, Phil Masinga, David Wetherall, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Tony Yeboah, Paul Robinson, Chris Kamara, Matthew Kilgallon and Eirik Bakke.

Lucas Radebe is number 16 in Leeds United's 100 greatest players.