AmaZulu Durban FC History: From Humble Beginnings to Prominence

Romwald
Romwald
19 Min Read

AmaZulu Durban FC is a professional soccer club based in Durban, South Africa. The club has a rich history dating back to 1932 when it was founded by Zulu migrant workers. Originally known as Zulu Royals, AmaZulu Durban FC is the oldest club in the South African Premier League. The club’s nickname, “Usuthu”, is a Zulu war cry.

Founding and Early History The club was formed in 1932 by Zulu migrant workers. It was originally known as Zulu Royals and played in the Durban Bantu Football Association. In 1985, the National Soccer League was formed, and AmaZulu entered a new phase of their history under the leadership of Mr. David Dlamini. In 1987, Clive Barker coached AmaZulu Durban FC to finals of the Mainstay Cup and Iwisa Charity Cup, where they were narrowly defeated twice by Kaizer Chiefs.

Club Identity AmaZulu Durban FC is known for its distinctive black and white striped kit. The club’s crest features a shield with a Zulu warrior’s head and the club’s name in bold letters. The club’s nickname, “Usuthu”, is a Zulu war cry that is meant to intimidate opponents. The club has a strong connection to the Zulu culture and is proud of its heritage.

Key Takeaways

  • AmaZulu Durban FC is the oldest club in the South African Premier League, founded in 1932 by Zulu migrant workers.
  • The club’s nickname, “Usuthu”, is a Zulu war cry that reflects the club’s strong connection to the Zulu culture.
  • AmaZulu Durban FC has a rich history, including reaching the finals of the Mainstay Cup and Iwisa Charity Cup in 1987 under the leadership of Clive Barker.

 

Founding and Early History

AmaZulu Durban FC was established in the early 1930s as Zulu Royal Conquerors. The team was initially made up of Zulu migrant workers who shared a passion for football. After performing well in their games, the team was introduced to the then Zulu King, King Solomon kaDiniZulu in 1932. The King was impressed with the team’s performance and decided to change the team’s name to Zulu Royals. He also gave the team owners his blessing to continue playing football.

The Zulu Royals continued to play football and became a prominent force in the country’s football scene. In the 1970s, the team changed its name to AmaZulu FC, which means “Zulu People”. The club’s nickname, Usuthu, is a Zulu war cry that means “Our Pride”.

Throughout its history, AmaZulu Durban FC has faced many challenges, including financial difficulties and changes in ownership. However, the club has always remained committed to promoting football in KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.

Today, AmaZulu Durban FC is one of the oldest football clubs in South Africa and is a prominent force in the country’s Premier Soccer League. The club has a rich history and continues to inspire young footballers across the country.

 

Club Identity

Crest and Colors

AmaZulu Durban FC’s official colors are black and white [1]. The club’s crest features a shield with a Zulu warrior’s head in the center, surrounded by two crossed assegais (traditional Zulu spears). The club’s nickname, Usuthu, is a Zulu war cry that means “the hornet’s nest” [2].

Supporters and Rivalries

AmaZulu Durban FC has a passionate fan base that is deeply rooted in the culture and history of the club [4]. The club has a strong following in the KwaZulu Natal province and beyond. The club’s supporters are known for their vocal and enthusiastic support during matches.

The club’s main rival is Golden Arrows FC, which is also based in Durban. Matches between the two clubs are known as the Durban Derby and are always fiercely contested [2]. AmaZulu Durban FC also has a rivalry with Maritzburg United FC, which is based in the nearby city of Pietermaritzburg [2].

Overall, AmaZulu Durban FC has a strong identity that is deeply rooted in Zulu culture and history. The club’s crest, colors, and nickname all reflect this identity, and the club’s supporters are passionate and dedicated to the team.

 

Significant Achievements

Domestic Success

AmaZulu Durban FC has achieved several domestic successes in its history. One significant achievement was winning the National Soccer League (NSL) title in 1972. The team was led by coach Allan Kingston and had players such as Lawrence Ngubane and Pius Dlamini. The NSL title was a major accomplishment for AmaZulu as it was the highest level of football in South Africa at the time.

Another domestic success for AmaZulu was winning the Coca-Cola Cup in 1992. The team defeated Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in the final to claim the trophy. The Coca-Cola Cup was one of the major cup competitions in South Africa at the time and winning it was a major achievement for AmaZulu.

Continental Competitions

AmaZulu Durban FC has also participated in several continental competitions in its history. The team’s first appearance in a continental competition was in the 1993 CAF Cup Winners’ Cup. AmaZulu reached the second round of the competition before being eliminated by Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas.

In 2006, AmaZulu participated in the CAF Confederation Cup. The team reached the second round of the competition before being knocked out by Tunisian side Club Africain. AmaZulu’s participation in the CAF Confederation Cup was a significant achievement for the team as it was one of the top club competitions in Africa at the time.

Overall, AmaZulu Durban FC has had several significant domestic and continental achievements in its history. The team has won major trophies and has participated in top club competitions in Africa. These achievements have helped establish AmaZulu as one of the top football clubs in South Africa.

 

Notable Players and Coaches

Over the years, AmaZulu Durban FC has had several notable players and coaches who have contributed to the club’s success. Here are some of them:

Players

  • Siyabonga Nomvethe: Nomvethe is a former South African footballer who played as a striker for AmaZulu from 2018 until his retirement in 2019. He is one of the club’s all-time top scorers and has also played for several other clubs in South Africa and Europe.
  • Steve Lekoelea: Lekoelea is a retired South African footballer who played as a midfielder for AmaZulu from 2010 to 2012. He is known for his dribbling skills and has also played for several other clubs in South Africa.
  • Marc van Heerden: Van Heerden is a South African footballer who currently plays as a left-back for AmaZulu. He has been with the club since 2017 and has also played for several other clubs in South Africa.

Coaches

  • Benni McCarthy: McCarthy is a retired South African footballer who is currently the head coach of AmaZulu. He took over the role in December 2020 and has since led the team to several victories.
  • Cavin Johnson: Johnson is a former South African footballer who was the head coach of AmaZulu from 2018 to 2020. He led the team to several impressive performances and helped them avoid relegation during the 2018/19 season.
  • Craig Rosslee: Rosslee is a former South African footballer who was the head coach of AmaZulu from 2012 to 2014. He helped the team finish in the top eight during the 2013/14 season and also led them to the final of the Nedbank Cup in 2013.

These players and coaches have all played an important role in AmaZulu’s history and have helped the team achieve success on the field.

 

Stadium and Facilities

AmaZulu Durban FC has played its home matches at several stadiums throughout its history. Currently, the team plays its home matches at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium, which has a seating capacity of approximately 52,000. The stadium is located in the heart of Durban and is easily accessible by public transportation.

In addition to the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium, AmaZulu Durban FC has also played home matches at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which has a seating capacity of approximately 56,000. The stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is located in the heart of Durban. The stadium is known for its iconic arch, which offers breathtaking views of the city.

AmaZulu Durban FC has a state-of-the-art training facility located in the Durban North area. The facility features several full-size training pitches, as well as a gym and other amenities. The club also has a youth academy, which is dedicated to developing young talent in the Durban area.

Overall, AmaZulu Durban FC has access to world-class facilities, which allows the team to compete at the highest level. The club is committed to investing in its facilities and infrastructure to ensure that it remains competitive both on and off the pitch.

 

Ownership and Finances

AmaZulu Durban FC has had several changes in ownership over the years. In 2020, the previous owner and chairman of the club, Dr. Patrick Sokhela, reached an agreement with the Zungu Investments Company (Zico) to transfer 100% ownership of the club. Sandile Zungu, the founder and executive chairman of Zico, is now the sole owner of the club. [1]

Under the new ownership, AmaZulu Durban FC has seen significant financial investments. Sandile Zungu, who is among the wealthiest football club owners in South Africa, has brought a new level of financial stability to the club. [2] This has allowed the club to invest in new talent and infrastructure, such as the recently built Moses Mabhida Stadium.

In addition to his investments in the club, Sandile Zungu is also involved in social development through the Zico Foundation, which focuses on education and youth skills development. [3]

Overall, the new ownership and financial investments have brought a new level of stability and potential for success to AmaZulu Durban FC. With the continued support of Sandile Zungu and the Zico Foundation, the club is poised for a bright future.

 

Community and Social Impact

AmaZulu Durban FC has a strong community presence and has been actively involved in various social initiatives. The club has a foundation called the AmaZulu FC Foundation, which focuses on social responsibility and community development.

The foundation has been involved in various projects such as building schools, donating school supplies, and providing scholarships to underprivileged children. They have also partnered with organizations such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation to promote education and youth development.

In addition, AmaZulu Durban FC has also been involved in promoting health and wellness in the community. They have partnered with organizations such as the South African National Blood Service to encourage blood donations. The club has also hosted events such as the AmaZulu Durban FC Health and Wellness Day to promote healthy living among its fans and the community.

Furthermore, AmaZulu Durban FC has been involved in promoting environmental sustainability. The club has partnered with organizations such as the Wildlands Conservation Trust to promote environmental education and conservation. They have also hosted events such as the AmaZulu Durban FC Green Day to promote environmental awareness among its fans and the community.

Overall, AmaZulu Durban FC has made a positive impact on the community through its various social initiatives. The club’s commitment to social responsibility and community development has helped to improve the lives of many people in the community and has helped to promote a positive image of the club.

 

Recent Developments

AmaZulu Durban FC has been making significant strides in recent years, both on and off the pitch. In the 2021/2022 season, the team finished in second place in the Premier Soccer League, their highest finish in recent years. The team’s success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the players, coaching staff, and management.

Off the pitch, AmaZulu Durban FC has been working to improve the fan experience at their home ground, the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium. The club has invested in upgrading the stadium’s facilities, including new seating, improved lighting, and enhanced security measures. These improvements have helped to create a more welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for fans attending matches.

In addition to their on-field success, AmaZulu Durban FC has also been actively involved in the community. The club has launched several initiatives aimed at promoting youth development and social responsibility. These initiatives include the AmaZulu Youth Academy, which provides young players with the opportunity to develop their skills and pursue a career in professional soccer, and the AmaZulu Foundation, which supports various charitable causes in the Durban area.

Overall, AmaZulu Durban FC has made significant progress in recent years, both on and off the pitch. With a dedicated team of players, coaches, and management, and a commitment to community engagement and development, the club is well-positioned to continue its success in the years to come.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When was AmaZulu FC established?

AmaZulu FC was established in 1932 by Zulu migrant workers. Originally known as Zulu Royals, it is the oldest club in the South African Premier League. [1]

Who are some notable players who have played for AmaZulu FC?

Over the years, AmaZulu FC has had several notable players, including Siyabonga Nomvethe, who is the club’s all-time leading scorer, and John “Shoes” Moshoeu, who played for the club in the early 2000s. [2]

What significant achievements has AmaZulu FC accomplished?

AmaZulu FC has had several significant achievements over the years, including reaching the finals of the Mainstay Cup and Iwisa Charity Cup in 1987, where they were narrowly defeated twice by Kaizer Chiefs. In 2021, the club won the MTN8 Cup, which is one of the most prestigious cup competitions in South African football. [1] [3]

Which stadium is the home ground for AmaZulu FC?

AmaZulu FC’s home ground is the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 52,000 spectators. [1]

How has AmaZulu FC contributed to South African football?

AmaZulu FC has contributed significantly to South African football by producing several talented players who have gone on to play for the national team. The club has also been involved in several community outreach programs, including the AmaZulu FC Foundation, which aims to uplift and empower young people in the community through football. [1] [4]

What is the structure of the youth academy at AmaZulu FC?

AmaZulu FC has a well-structured youth academy that provides young players with the opportunity to develop their skills and potentially play for the first team. The academy has several age groups, ranging from under-13 to under-19, and is overseen by experienced coaches who are dedicated to developing young talent. [1] [5]

 

Read More:

Cape Town Spurs: A Comprehensive Club History

Richards Bay Football Club History: From Inception to Present Day

Royal AM Football Club History: From Humble Beginnings to Present Day

Chippa United Football Club: A Brief History of the Club

 

Leave a comment