Lucas Radebe

Top Sporting Icon & Greatest Footballer In South Africa

Lucas Radebe is a South African former footballer who played primarily as a centre-back. He began playing in South Africa with Kaizer Chiefs, before transferring to Leeds United, where he played 256 matches for the Yorkshire side. During his spells at these clubs, he picked up the nicknames Rhoo and The Chief. He became captain of Leeds United and also of the South African national team, most notably at World Cup 2002. Nelson Mandela said of Radebe: “This is my hero.”

Radebe originally started his career with the Kaizer Chiefs as a goalkeeper, and then switched positions to central midfield and then finally to central defence. In 1994, Radebe and another South African player, Philemon “Chippa” Masinga, moved to Leeds United for a transfer fee of £250,000. Radebe was only included in the deal to keep Masinga happy; as it turned out, he became the more valuable investment.

Initially the move was not a success; Radebe did not agree with then Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson, and suffered injuries which prevented him for earning a regular first team place. However, when Wilkinson was replaced by George Graham, his career flourished and Radebe was made captain of the team for the 1998–99 season. Whilst he was captain, Leeds enjoyed a period of relative success; in the 1998–99 season, they 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 following season’s Champions League, where they eventually reached the semi-finals. During this time, Radebe turned down the chance to move to Manchester United, A.C. Milan and Roma. Alex Ferguson commented at the time, “Everyone should be interested in Lucas.” In 2000, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award. However, in 2000 Radebe sustained serious knee and ankle injuries, which kept him out of the game for almost two years, and subsequently found it difficult to regain his form and his place in the team.

To book Lucas Radebe as the football speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When he’s at corporate events, Lucas is known to cover the following topics:

  • Sports & Football
  • Teamwork
  • Premier League