He vividly remembers Milner making his debut as a 16-year-old - and then surpassing Wayne Rooney to become the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history.
"When I met him again at the PFA dinner he was the same old James," Radebe told the Sunday Mirror. "He hasn't changed one bit from the young kid I remember. He was, and still is, a model professional.
"It wasn't his skill that impressed me back then. It was his attitude - both on and off the pitch.
"He was never fancy, always 100 per cent. Even when he played in the reserves he gave it everything he could.
"But I don't think he should have moved from Villa to City because I think there should be loyalty in football.
"It's not good to move to a rival team. He should have moved abroad maybe - it would have furthered his development as a player."