Stunning Lucas Radebe mural unveiled as Leeds United legend is immortalised in the city
Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe has been immortalised on the streets of the city he once represented.
The South African born star made 256 appearances for the Whites over the course of an 11-year stay in LS11, which began in 1994 as he ingrained himself into the hearts of those who watched him at Elland Road.
His arrival was part of a double deal worth £250,000 to bring Radebe and Phil Masinga to the club from his homeland by manager Howard Wilkinson with the latter thought the more likely to make a lasting impact.
Rabebe, though, proved to be the more valuable of the two as he went on to be named captain under former head coach George Graham before his retirement in 2005.
The mural to the club legend has been unveiled by the Leeds United Supporters' Trust and has been funded by Fans For Diversity, a joint-project by the Football Supporters' Association and Kick It Out.
The campaign aims to celebrate diversity in football with the Trust having applied for funding, highlighting Rabebe's educational and anti-racism work while playing for Leeds United.
The 35ft mural has been painted on the side of Sweeney Todd Barbers in Chapel Allerton by artist Adam Duffield - aka Meds One - where Radebe used to be a regular before striking up a close friendship with owner Richard Dwyer.
The Chief, as he is affectionately known, appears alongside a South African flag with the quote "This is My Hero" - a phrase cultural figure Nelson Mandela once used to describe him.
"I am very proud and honoured to be chosen as the subject for the latest mural from the Leeds United Supporters' Trust. I have been a passionate anti-racism campaigner during my playing career at Leeds and since I have retired," Radebe said of the mural.
"I am delighted that this mural will stand as a symbol for the message of inclusivity and diversity in my second home of Leeds.
"I can’t wait to come and see it in person. I really appreciate the support and love you guys show to me."
Anwar Uddin, Fans for Diversity Campaign Manager, said: “I feel proud to have played a small part in this creation, as a former player and someone who is passionate about equality, Lucas Radebe was a genuine role model and I hope this mural sparks many conversations about the chief in years to come.”
LUST president and Kaiser Chiefs bassist Simon Rix, whose Leeds-based band opted for their name due to the influence of Radebe, has been working closely with board members to bring the mural to life.
“It’s brilliant to see ‘The Chief’ back on the streets of Leeds inspiring the next generation of players," he said.
"Lucas has always been, and remains, a great support and inspiration for our band, and it’s good to see him, and this important message getting this level of recognition.”
A number of junior LUST members and supporters named Lucas in homeage to the former Whites hero were also invited down to put their handprints on the mural and sign their name.