Lucas Radebe is a former South African soccer player and national team captain. Was discovered by Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, he later played for Leeds United whose fans nicknamed him "The Chief".
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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.
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. In 2008 a Local Leeds Brewery asked for suggestions on a new Beer name and the most popular suggestion was "Radebeer" showing the Leeds fans fond admiration of Lucas.
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 also held a retirement match in Durban, South Africa between a South African Invitation XI and Lucas Radebe All Stars at Kings Park Soccer Stadium The match finished South African Invitation XI 3-2 Lucas Radebe All Stars. The proceeds from both of these matches were combined with other money raised and donated to charity as part of Lucas's big donation to charity in his final year as a player.
On 28 August 2006, Lucas announced that he was going back to Leeds after failing to secure a job with the World Cup hosts to be involved in the set-up of Bafana Bafana even though he was promised. He said he was tired of waiting for unreliable people who had allegedly promised him a role in the national team set up as the South African Football Association prepare to host the next World Cup in 2010.
It is also known that Lucas is friendly with former South African President Nelson Mandela. On a visit to Leeds, Mandela told dignitaries "This is my hero".
Radebe was first included in the South African national team in 1992 and he made his international debut on 7 July 1992 against Cameroon.
In 1996, he was a member of the South African team that won the African Nations Cup. Radebe was also the captain of the South African national football team (nicknamed the Bafana Bafana) in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
He earned 70 "caps" for South Africa and scored 2 goals during his international career with his last match being against England on 22 May 2003.
Radebe has been an ambassador of FIFA for SOS Children's Villages; he also received the FIFA Fair Play Award in December 2000 for his contribution in ridding soccer of racism as well as for his work with children in South Africa.
He was voted 54th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
The current popular band the Kaiser Chiefs are said to have taken their name from Lucas' old club as he had such an influence on them as children, with all the members being Leeds fans.
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Dec/4/
Place of Origin: South Africa
Lucas Radebe was born in Diepkloof a section of Soweto
as one of eleven children. At 15 he was sent to the Bophuthatswana, former independent state,
by his parents in order to keep him away from the violence that was affecting Soweto
apartheid era. In order to keep himself busy during his stay in Bophuthatswana
Radebe played soccer as a goalkeeper.
He was later spotted and signed by the Kaizer Chiefs Football Club as a
midfielder. In 1991 he was shot while walking down the street, although not
critically. The motive for the shooting never became clear, but Radebe himself
believes that someone had been hired to shoot him in order to prevent him from
moving to another club.
Radebe was first included in the South Africa national football team
Partially motivated by the shooting incident, Lucas and another South African
player, Philemon Chippa Masinga, moved to Leeds United in 1994; Radebe was
sold by for GBP 250,000. In 1996, he was a member of the South African team
that won the African Nations Cup.
became a star player for Leed and was nicknamed "The Chief" by its
fans. In recognition of his leadership and ability, Radebe was appointed as
captain of the team for the 1998/1999 soccer season. Radebe was also the
captain of the South African national soccer team (nicknamed the Bafana Bafana)
in the 1998 Football World Cup.
As captain of Leeds, Radebe was very successful: in the 1998/1999 season, Leeds finished fourth in the Premier League, thus
qualifying for the UEFA Cup. During the 1999/2000 season, Leed finished third
in the Premier League and qualified for the Champions League, where they made
it through to the semi-finals.
In 2000, Radebe sustained knee and ankle injuries, which kept him out of soccer
for almost two years. After his recovery, he captained South Africa in
the 2002 Football World Cup. Radebe has also been an ambassador of FIFA for SOS
Childrens Villages; he also received the FIFA Fair Play Award in December 2000
for his contribution in ridding soccer of racism as well as for his work with
children in South Africa.
He retired in 2004 from international soccer but continued playing for
Leeds United. He was voted 54th in the Top 100 Great South Africans (see List
of South Africans) in 2004.
Lucas Radebe is a former South African soccer player and national team captain. Was discovered by Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, he later played for Leeds...