Lucas Radebe – a South African sporting icon
Did you know?
Lucas Radebe was the fourth out of 10 children born to his parents, Johannes and Emily Radebe, in Diepkloof, Soweto.
Lucas Radebe is hailed as one of South Africa’s greatest football players, with 70 appearances for Bafana Bafana, the South African national side. He made headlines when he captained Leeds United, being the first black South African to captain an English side in the English Premier League.
Born in Soweto in 1969, he began playing football in earnest in the former homeland of Bophuthatswana. In 1989 he was drafted to play for one of South Africa's biggest (and most successful) football teams, Kaizer Chiefs, and from then on his career went from strength to strength. His prowess and agility on the field soon gained him a reputation as being a formidable defender, and the international football fraternity started to take notice of the talented player.
In 1994, Radebe transferred to Leeds United in the English Premier League. He soon gained many adoring fans, and was nicknamed the 'Chief' because of his ability to deliver results. He was appointed captain of Leeds for the 1998/99 season. Under his leadership, Leeds finished third in the Premier League in the 1999/2000 and qualified for the Champions League, where they progressed to the semi-finals. In 2000 he was awarded the prestigious FIFA Fair Play Award.
He retired from professional football in 2005, and went on to become an ambassador for the game back home in South Africa. Now a businessman, television presenter and sporting personality, he is an inspirational icon for South Africa's youth.
He played a focal role in commentating on the FIFA 2010 World Cup, which took place in South Africa, and was part of the team that launched Brand South Africa's campaign in 2012: 'Inspiring New Ways'.