Howard Wilkinson signed Radebe along with compatriot Phil Masinga
in the summer of 1994 and deployed him as a central defender,
midfielder and left back. After an injury-prone start at Leeds, he was
a key part of the South African team that found success in the 1996
African Nations Cup. Subsequently he claimed the centre-back position
at Elland Road - occasionally operating as a man-marker - and his
commitment and skill in this position have made him a firm favourite
with the fans.
Lucas scored his first goal for the club in nearly 100 appearances
in the FA Cup win against Oxford - we hoped the first of many. The
97-98 season was another disrupted one though, as he was called up by
South Africa for pre-WC tournaments and friendlies.
In WC98, he was captain of a divided and poorly managed South African
side, but his personal performances continued to gain praise.
He was absent from the side in 1998-99 for several games, but made his
comeback against West Ham. Unfortunately he picked up another injury
in the next game at Coventry that has kept him out over Christmas.
Radebe came back, and playing alongside Jonathan Woodgate continued
to look like the best centreback in the Premiership. His popularity with
the fans was further enhanced as he bagged two important goals in the
1999-2000 UEFA Cup campaign against Partizan Belgrade and Spartak Moscow.
Unfortunately the African Nations Cup once again claimed him for 6-7 weeks
in early 2000, but he was straight back into the side on his return. Roma
made a derisory offer of £6 million for Lucas in the close season,
but he stayed on and signed an extension to his contract which looks
set to keep him at Elland Road for the rest of his career.
How long will that career be? Well, he obviously wanted to be in a
position to lead South Africa into the 2002 World Cup, but injury
problems - particularly knees - continue to dog him, and he missed a
sizeable chunk of the 2000-01 season at a time when Leeds were in
desperate need of experienced centrebacks.
He returned to the side for the pre-season friendlies, but picked
up a knock before the season had started and missed most of the early
part of 2001-02. He was close to a comeback before Christmas before
another injury knocked him back again. Miraculously he managed to
regain his fitness by the end of the season, and although the South
African team didn't do as well as they'd hoped, once again Lucas
led the side with pride and produced some vintage performances.
The departure of Rio Ferdinand, injuries to Dom Matteo and the sale
of Jon Woodgate left Leeds desperate for his experience as the team
struggled through the 2002-03 season and although he had clearly lost
some pace and was a little more fragile than he used to be, his
intelligence and positional sense carried him through and he continues
to turned in excellent performances in the Premiership.
A summer without any significant international matches at least
gave him the chance to recuperate, and he received a massive cheer
from the crowd at Tolka Park when he took the field in a pre-season
friendly. Lack of cover and inexperience mean that - despite his age
and persistent injury problems, he's almost certain to play some part
in the final year of his contract at Leeds - we know we can rely on
him to always give us 100%.
Mogale Mafalo says: Lucas is a real gentleman - his understanding
about different people from different backrounds make him the best
leader to ever come out of South Africa and Leeds are very fortunate
to have him on their team.
Pete Mathenjwa says: I'd really be proud and honored if I could own
/ get to wear one of his Leeds FC jerseys. Being a South African also,
that would be a "lekker" present for this Christmas from my HERO -
Rufus "RHOO" Dlamini says: I am a registered supporter of Kaizer
Chiefs. I have seen Lucas Radebe play, both for his former Club as
well as the South African National team. He is well loved in South
Africa. He joined Chiefs by "accident in 1990 or 1991. Before joining
Chiefs he was playing for a team called ICL Birds in the lower
divisions, where he started as a goalkeeper. By "accident" because one
of Kaizer Chiefs former greats, Ace Ntsoelengoe says he (Ace) was
assigned to go and watch one of Radebe's team-mates at ICL Birds with
a view of signing him for Chiefs. When Ace came back to report about
his mission he told Chiefs management that there is only one player at
ICL Birds and that player was Lucas. From the time that he played for
Chiefs he had been an outstanding player. Whilst my nickname is "RHOO"
same as Radebe's, I can confirm that I got it long before him, as
early as 1974, from my name Rufus.
Tony Boyle says: I was disappointed to hear Mr Radebe has been
injured again. Lucas is a South-African hero and to hear he might not
be taking part in next year's World Cup is like hearing Rivaldo won't
be playing for Brazil. I just want to wish Lucas all the best and
were hoping to see him back in action with leeds before the end of the
season but most of all, to see him captain South Africa in next year's
Vernon Tlale says: Lucas Radebe is probably the best centre back in
the premier league.
Andy E says: Hi Jabba, Just reading your info on Lucas after he has
made his latest comeback. I sincerely hope that he gets through his
injury problems this time around and gives us one more season of
fantastic defending. I think that's probably the best we can hope for
now...any more owuld be a bonus. The man is one of the greats in my
opinion. A great player and a true gent. I hope we (the club) can
persuade him to stay on when he does retire.
Remote Rodgers says: Radebe u are such a great player for our
country. i wish you all the best in the entire career
bongimveli, lucas says: I, always praise "rhuu"because he is the
best role model for me.I had a bad spell when he was suffering from
injury.I also lost my position at Pentech last year I did not study
the whole year.Now that you are back on track my man, I am also back
in my form at Tech.I am looking to see you going forward, from
lucas,bongimveli gagasi in cape town. all the best my friend bye,bye.
Salome Makgato says: Lucas, I just want to wish you all the best of
luck for the new season. You have done us proud in the 2002 World
Cup. You are my role model. I play netball as a defender (GD&GK) and I
learn a lot from you in terms of reading the game and covering
spaces. I love you Lucas.
Lucas Mafukaduvha says: Lucas is the real role model of South
African youth.he once gave me a Bafana Bafana jersey no appointment we
made. He told me that he is not afraid to meet the people who made him
what he is today.
Zweli says: Lucas is the real leader and a role model on and off
the field. His presence in the SA National team makes a
difference. The way he organizes his team-mates reminds me of the
legend Ace Ntsoelengoe who was not afraid to take innitiative if the
coaches ideas are failing, he would change the strategy for he was a
good reader of the game. Lucas is also a good reader of the game.
vilakati siboniso prestone says: haven't meet him any where, only
like to watch him block an intelligent striker hoping to score.
Lauren says: Hey all u out there...I wud just like to day that
Lucas Radebe definetly promotes South African proudness and so we shud
follow his example and be proud of South Africa. Lucas is an
inspiration into my life...GO LUCAS!!!
siyabonga madondile says: lucas is one of the most south african
amasadors in England & he is the only one player who is still playing
from the squad of 1992 of Screamer Tshabalala most of the guys he
played whith are no longer playing in the national team .He must not
be worried aboutr the statesments that are being said by Safa .keep it
up brother .we miss you in the mbanana banana (bafana bafana) every
one who is playing in the can get a call call up ,where as they are
Adi B says: Remember when he got the winner against Spartak Moscow!
i went absolutely Mental when he scored! he has always been my
favourite player before Rio, When Rio and after Rio! I just hope to
meet him some day cause he is my childhood hero!!!
Thompson Dondo says: I am Zimbabwean and i like Lucas" play.You are
a TRUE lEADER.Wish you a quick recovery.
Sivuyile Ngwabeni says: I would like to express myself in
xhosa.Ndingumlandeli weKaizer chiefs ukusukela ngo 1992.Ndaqala ngoko
ukwazi ngo "RHOO" bebetha iPirates kwi extra time ye coca cola
cup.Ndiyakuthanda ukumbona edlala ndiphatheka kakubi xa engadlali
ngakwicala le Leeds andazinto ngoba ndilikhosi nozwane andizijongi
ezinye iTeam ingakumbi ezaphesheya.
David Matojane says: I knew Rhoo whilst playing for an amateur team
in Diepkloof, called Wolf Wanderers. He was in the junior team but he
used to train with the senior team. Hoping to meet him in England
around march 2003. Bye
Bonolo Amos Macheru aka mopheme says: This is Smooth A.K.A Mopheme.
keep making us proud and never forget that we love you. I still want
to be at your wedding,LIVE NOT VIA SATTELITE.
Jomo Manamela from Ga-Mashashane says: Congradulations on receiving
the 10 Seasons Award for Contribution to the Community and for being
an examplary football ambassador for South Africa. I wish you consider
coaching Bafana Bafana in the near future. May the God bless you.
Hugo A Go-Go says: Lucas, your a legend. Keep up the excellent work
both on and off the field. I hope you can stay in Leeds forever,
playing, coaching, whatever!
Ezekiel Malegae Mafalo says: Lucas is a superstar he is a man of
football,understanding and he is a selfless charismatic football quasi
figure..take care bra lucas with respect . UDESMO (chairperson)
Fame says: World's greatest
guess who??? says: Hallloooo Ntobarikie, Congrats on yo wedding
though it came as shock to me. And um very sorry about yo accident
too. Surely u cant remember me, but we briefly met over the weekend
30th May 2003.... Another thing you guys look very cute on TRUE LOVE
MAGAZINE. Keep well man
Thandile Samela says: Well what can one say about Rhoo, he's a
great footballer, a true leader, a modest but outspoken person.He's a
kind of a person who faces life's challenges head on. This he proved
when he was injured and advised to quit football.He showed great
character and overcame that depressing period of his life and came
back to lead Bafana during 2002 WC where he was one of the few who
performed with distiction.Now that he has retired from international
football I hope he does well for his and before he retires from all
club footbal, I would urge him to come and one more season for the
beloved Phefeni boys (Amakhosi/Kaizer Chiefs) I salute you Rhoo and
may those legs of yours carry you until you reach your desired
Bayanda Mdledle says: All I can say about Lucas to us is great
ambassodor for our continent as a whole,Yes I saw Rhoo play from
Chiefs to LEEDS and I admire him very much He is a real gentlemen and
role modei in our youth,Mybe one day I would like to meet him,GOOD
LUCK RHOO WE SALUTE U AS A SOUTH AFRICANS
Faith Mhlotti says: Hi Rhoo, you are an ambassador for our soccer
here at home, it is fantastic to have you in our midst, I wish you all
the best in your soccer career
Toddy says: we all love leeds and so does lucas plz offer him a
coaching job at the end of his contract he i a living ledgend
Alvin Lim says: Hampered by injuries throughout recent
years. Radebe remains an integral part of Leeds defense. He offers
support to charities; fight against racism and comitted to the Leeds
clause. An inspirational player leading by example to all young
players at Leeds. Through Jabba's terrific website, I salute
Dobbin the Wonder Horse says: Howard Wilkinson used him as
substitute keeper in about 94-95. He was absolutely brilliant - I
remember him playing against Man U and taking over from Beeney in
goals. Lucas, you deserve a place in the Pantheon of Leeds
greats. Staying with Leeds when L'pool and Roma were sniffing around
means that you are ten time the man Ferdinand is.
Boitumelo Letlape (Tumi) says: CONGRADULATIONS for your
marriage,you scored bi time NTATE.I shared a flat in JHB,did Fashion
Design in Setlogelo with your wife FEZIWE. Im in Germany and would
possibly come to England in December want to know if its possible to
meet with her.
Millie says: I have got a golly-wog called Lucas Radebe. It looks
just like him. Big up Lucas!!
Laura says: Ah Lucas Radebe u r a gr8 man + a legend! Me dad had a
man cum 2 work who asked him if he was a derby supporter (we're from
Burton-On-Trent near Derby), but me dad sed no I'm a Leeds fan m8. The
guy replied "oh Lucas Radebe! He more famous than Nelson Mandela!"
Stee Newton says: It's a shame to see The Chief is in his last
contracted year. Throughout his Leeds United career he has been
without doubt one of the best centre-backs in the world. The board
should offer him at least one more year as it would be his
testimonial, and I'm sure thousands of fans would turn up to his
testimonial game. What better team to invite to Elland Road than
Lucas' former club Kaizer Chiefs?!!
alex says: it will be sad to see the great man leave at the end of
the season.good luck chief
Anita says: Is Lucas the only South African player to have played
for Leeds. I have been told there has been a S A player who played for
Middlesborough then Watford and then Leeds.Is this true and if so who
was he? Jabba says nope - Gerry Francis, Ken Hastie, Gordon Hodgson,
Albert Johanneson, George Miller, Gordon Stewart and Phil Masinga all
played for Leeds and were from SA (plus keeper Paul Evans who never
made it further than the bench). None of them played for Boro and
Watford - you're not thinking of Paul Okon are you?
Sandile Mchunu says: You have been an inspiration to many of us,
Lucas. Thank you for the excellent service you gave your country, we
appreciate it. Wish you were in Tunisia but we understand that there
comes a time when we have to do without you. May God bless you richly
throughout your life.
Ross says: I just want to say a big thank you Lucas for everything
you have done for this club. Your contribution will never be forgotton
and in my opinion you are one of Leeds Uniteds heros.
serena dobson says: i have seen lucas radabe play before and think
he is a real good player i think that leeds need to play him more
ofton as he is a good player and we need leeds to do better especially
Stephen says: Absolute magical transfer business - bargain of the
century (literally) - quarter of a million for a legend. 13 words, 1
LOVE - Radebe, Radebe, Radebe, Radebe, Radebe, Radebe, Radebe,Radebe -
ah - ah - ah - ah - Lucas!!!
matshete zwivhuya says: lucas im very proud of you, i'm a 20 year
old boy in the village called masisi in limpopo.i have formed a
community ladies soccer team in my village,and we are doing well, We
also have a ladies called them self "lucas redebe"in the team. thats
indicate your our hero lucus.i hope i will see my ladies playing the
same football you played for our country.We as 'masisi young stars
ladies football club' we thanx for the work you did for our
country. We love you lucas. our adress:po box 375,Masisi,0989. we
also need your help. We are run out of the soccer materials,if you can
help us we will inprove the standard of ladies soccer in our community
as to figth crime,and prevent youth pregnences. we love you Mr. L
Radebe thanx for all your good work yoursfaithfully masisi young stars
jake says: Wish we had more players like Lucas Radebe!!
Mark Campbell says: Lucas Radebe is a Leeds United legend. He is
without doubt one of the greatest players ever to wear the white
shirt, and heading into his Testimonial season we need The Chief more
than ever. If this is to be his last season, I sincerely hope he is
given the opportunity to take his coaching badges and work with the
young players at the club. Lucas is also the best role model that
Leeds have ever had. He is internationally recognised for services to
the people of RSA and counts Nelson Mandela as a personal friend. Big
up Lucas Radebe! oh, and in 1995, I was part of a team that won the
local cup. Lucas turned up and presented the cup. He was very polite
and had loads of time for his fans.
Richard Payne says: Lucas Radebe has always been my favourite
player since i started supporting leeds at 5 years old. Definitely one
of the greatest players to wear the white shirt, made me proud to
watch leeds play at crystal palace against Wimbledon. Inspiration to
lufc fan says: gutted about your injury in the wolves match.true
leeds legend,hopefully you will play again if not we will show are
apprieciation in your testimonial.your a brilliant example for all the
young lads and should be given a coaching job.good luck for whatever
the future holds lucas
Max Harlow says: What bet on a last-gasp mid-April 2005 comeback
for Da Chief? Just in time to make his final appearance in a Leeds
shirt in the end-of-season derby against Rotherham, in which he scores
his first and only League goal for the Whites in a thrilling 4-2 win,
sealing a play-off spot/promotion. Well you can dream, can't you?
Come on Lucas, you're not finished yet, we all believe in you!
sakhumzi says: what ican say is that lucas is 1 of the good players
in the world!
tom lynes says: leeds legend, nuff said