Regarded almost unanimously as the jewel in the Elland Road crown, Leeds United’s former captain and Bafana Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe is widely acknowledged to have been one of the game’s best ever defenders.
Radebe was a member of the Bafana Bafana team that won the African Cup of Nations in 1996, while playing for his adopted team Leeds United, and then had the honour of leading South Africa into its first-ever World Cup in 1998. He also captained the Bafana Bafana team at the 2002 World Cup. By the time he had retired from international football, Radebe had been capped 70 times for South Africa.
Despite approaches from many of the leading European clubs, in the summer of 2000, Radebe pledged to see out his career at Elland Road, where he played until his retirement in 2005.
From the time he joined Leeds United in 1994, Radebe was at the forefront of award-winning educational schemes and anti-racism projects in inner-city Leeds.
He also carried out a tremendous amount of community work in South Africa, for which he received the 2000/2001 FIFA Fair Play Award for his contribution to the sport, on and off the field.
Working as part of FIFA’s SOS Children’s Villages Project, Radebe dedicated much of his time to hosting coaching clinics in deprived communities. He continues to be involved in Starfish, a Laureus Sport for Good project that tackles some of the problems of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.