Orlando Pirates

One of the oldest and most respected clubs in South Africa, Pirates was formed 74 years ago and have enjoyed a rich and successful history to date.

Flash a badge with a skull and crossbones on it at almost any South African and they will know you’re talking about Orlando Pirates.

From humble beginnings in 1937, Orlando Pirates Football Club has become more than just one of the most recognisable brands in South Africa: It is ingrained in the Culture of the culture of the country. For the millions of fans across the country, there’s no grey area. It’s black and white!

Andries ‘Pele Pele’ Mkhwanazi is considered the father of Pirates having persuaded a young group of players from the Orlando Boys Club to form a team in 1937. He called the young group ‘amapirate’, inspired by the many Pirates movies around at the time, and they played in the lower leagues of the Johannesburg Bantu Football Association (JBFA).

The team won promotion to the top-flight of the JBFA in 1944, and won the country’s elite cup competition, the SA Robertson Cup, in 1950.

They claimed their first countrywide trophy when they won the 1971 National Professional Soccer League in its first year. In fact, they would dominate the early years, winning again in 1973, 1975 and 1976.

The 1970s was by far the most successful decade for The Buccaneers as, apart from those League titles, they claimed three Life Challenge Cup trophies, three BP Top Eight titles and three Sales House Cup wins.

They achieved their greatest success when they were crowned Kings of Africa in 1995 when they won the then CAF Champions Cup. Pirates remain the only South African side ever to win the competition.

History in Vodacom Challenge

The Buccaneers as Pirates are affectionately known, were the very first winners of the Vodacom Challenge in 1999, beating Tunisian giants Esperance 4-1 in the final. They lifted their second title in 2005 by defeating arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs 2-1.

The change in format of the competition saw the introduction of European teams. In 2007, Pirates met English club Tottenham Hotspur, who emerged 3-0 victors.

In 2009, Manchester City came to town and although Pirates were able to beat the English giants in the opening match of the competition – a loss to rivals Chiefs in the semi-finals, denied them an opportunity to repeat the feat in the final.

Nickname The Buccaneers, Happy People, Sea Robbers
City: None
Formed: 1937
Slogan: Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate

Physical Address 2nd Floor, Oakhurst Building, 11 St Andrews Road, Parktown, 2193
Postal address: PO Box 3076, Houghton, 2041
Tel: (011) 484 2084
Fax: (011) 484 2085
Main Sponsor: Vodacom
Technical Supplier Adidas
Home Kit: Black with white and red trim
Away Kit: Red with white and black trim


Head coach: Ruud Krol
Assistant: Craig Rosslee
Goalkeeper coach: Williams Okpara
Fitness trainer: Japhet Borges



Most appearances: Williams Okpara 375
Most goals: Benedict Vilakazi 58
Most capped player: Teko Modise 58 (South Africa)
Most appearances
in a season:
Williams Okpara 51 (1995)
Most goals in a season:   Dennis Lota 23 (1999/00)
Record win: 9-1 v Olympics (Bob Save Super Bowl, 7/3/99)
Record defeat: 1-6 v Mamelodi Sundowns (BP Top Eight Cup, 3/2/90)



1999 Winners
2000 Finalists
2001 Fourth
2002 Third
2003 Third
2004 Third
2005 Winners
2006 Third
2007 Finalists
2008 Third
2009 Third



NPSL Champions 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976
BP Top Eight Cup Winners 1972, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1993, 1996, 2000
Champion of Champion winners: 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983
Life Challenge
Cup winners:
1973, 1974, 1975
Mainstay Cup winners: 1980
Bob Save Super
Bowl winners:
1988, 1996
Castle Challenge winners: 1992
NSL Champions 1994
African Champions Cup Winners 1995
African Super Cup Winners 1995
PSL Champions 2000/2001, 2002/2003
MTN8 Winners 2010