1998-1999 - "Packard Bell" away shirt - Radebe 5

Champions League

The Shirt

The blue and yellow halved shirt was worn as the away shirt during the 1997/98 and 98/99 seasons. Packard Bell continued to be the shirt sponsor. The shirt was manufactured by Puma and was made of a thick polyester which was notorious for bobbling.

In the previous season there was little difference between the player shirts and the replicas - between 1997 and 1999 even the subtle differences disappeared and the same shirts which were used on the pitch were available from the club shop. The only differences were the player specification lettering, numbers and patches - which were all larger than the replicas.

This shirt was worn during the 1998/99 season and shows clear signs of use.

The Season

The 1998/99 season started in turbulent fashion with George Graham walking out on the club in October. Martin O'Neill was favourite to take over but turned his back on Leeds to stay with Leicester City. Leeds found the replacement closer to home in the form of former Assistant Manager, David O'Leary.

O'Leary was keen to put his trust in youth and players like Paul Robinson, Stephen McPhail, Jonathon Woodgate and Alan Smith emerged as major talents. O'Leary's major signing came in December when one of Leeds' favourite sons, David Batty, returned to the club much to the fan's delight.

Having qualified for the UEFA Cup in the previous season Leeds made it to the second round beating Portuguese side Maritimo before losing out to Italian giants Roma in the second round.

In the league Leeds had a great season under O'Leary, with Jimmy Flloyd Hasselbaink scoring 18 goals, and qualified for Europe again finishing in 4th place, Leeds' highest finish since winning the league in 1991/92.

The Player

This shirt was worn by Leeds captain, and legend, Lucas Radebe in the latter stages of the Champions League. Radebe arrived at Leeds in 1994 joining from the Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa. He quickly became a fans favourite at Elland Road with his natural leadership, determination and world class ability. In 1998 Radebe, "The Chief", was made club captain.

While at Leeds, Radebe turned down moves to Manchester United and AC Milan explaining that his emotional ties to the club were too strong to consider leaving.

Radebe also captained South Africa and while on a visit to Leeds, Nelson Mandella described Lucas as "his hero".

After the 2000/2001 season Radebe began to suffer with injuries and retured from the game in 2005. After leaving football Radebe focussed on charity work and in 2010 he won the PFA Merit Award.

Radebe is number 13 in the 100 Greatest Leeds Players list.

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