Thursday 05 September 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Howard Wilkinson signed Lucas Radebe from Johannesburg side Kaizer Chiefs as one half of a double-signing including fellow South African Philemon Masinga.
The versatile former goalkeeper started out at Elland Road as a midfielder but was moved to centre-back after Wilkinson recognised the physical attributes that would make him a Leeds stalwart.
Injury reduced the then 25-year-old to just 12 Barclays Premier League appearances in his first season in West Yorkshire and Radebe would be plagued by knee and Achilles problems throughout his 10-year spell at the club. However, his reading of the game, a knack of performing last-ditch saving tackles and ability to smother opposition danger men as a man-to-man marker distinguished him as one of the top-flight's foremost defenders, and by 1998 he had become club captain under George Graham.
"The Chief" became a firm crowd favourite among the Leeds faithful who admired his unflappable demeanour and his loyalty to the club he served in 197 Barclays Premier League appearances. Radebe, who represented South Africa on 70 occasions, remains a club legend to this day.