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
In WC98, he was captain of a divided and poorly managed South
African side, but his personal performances continued to gain
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
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
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 - Rhoo!!
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 World Cup!!!!!
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
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
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 not playing
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) TURFLOOP branch
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 destiny.
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 you.
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
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
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
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 with him.
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 fc (manager)
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 all people
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
sakhumzi says: what ican say is that lucas is 1 of the good
players in the world!
tom lynes says: leeds legend, nuff said