January 05, 2024

The Sun Rises on Mamelodi Sundowns

A club is as strong as its history, and the birth of Mamelodi Sundowns is no different, in that it has its roots in the cosmopolitan area of Marabastad in Pretoria, Gauteng.

A group of youths living in the area banded together and formed a football club, unaware that decades later, it would become a heavyweight in the country’s top-flight soccer league.

The exact date the club came into being is uncertain but it occurred during the 1960s, and was founded by Frank “ABC” Motsepe, Roy Fischer, Ingle Singh and Bernard Hartze. In 1967, the youngsters became prominent enough to join the Federation Professional League (FPL).

After Singh sold the club in 1970, it was moved to the nearby township of Mamelodi, where it became an official football club and was given the name “Mamelodi Sundowns”. In 1973, Sundowns reached the Coca Cola Cup finals of the FPL, but lost 5-3 to Berea United.

In 1978, the FPL folded to become part of the National Professional Soccer League, resulting in the relegation of Sundowns to the second division. However, they saw a revitalisation five years later when Sowetan businessman Zola Mohabe, AKA “Mr Cool”, bought the club and worked his magic on the players to regain their first division status.

Through a combination of wise spending decisions and continuous improvement, the team started cementing their status as football giants, and took on a kit similar to that of Brazil’s football team, thus earning them the nickname, “The Brazilians”.

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