Lucas Radebe cost Howard Wilkinson just £250,000 from leading South African club Kaizer Chiefs, joining within weeks of fellow countryman Phil Masinga.
Radebe took longer to settle than Masinga but grew into one of the best defenders in the Premiership once George Graham took over.
Graham made him captain and Radebe was one of the first players to be offered a new contract. Graham’s successor and former deputy David O’Leary revered “The Chief” just as highly.
Injury has robbed Leeds of Radebe at crucial times, especially in recent years, but he never gave up.
Even though many thought he would be forced to retire with knee injuries after not making a single appearance for the club in the 2001/02 season, Radebe led his country in the 2002 World Cup to become South Africa’s most capped player.
Not known as a prolific goalscorer, his goal in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup tie with Partizan Belgrade, scored with an overhead kick while lying on his back, will always be remembered with a smile.
Strange but true: Lucas was once shot in the back as he walked with his family in Johannesburg.