Who was the original owner of Orlando Pirates?

His name is James Sofasonke Mpanza. He is known as Magebhula, Maminzela, The father of Soweto. In 1937, he formed a team named Orlando Boys FC which was renamed Orlando Pirates.

In 1940, Buthuel Mokgosinyane took over as the first president of the club. He used his funds to support the club, and that is when the team got its first kit. The boys engaged in their first serious match, where they participated in Johannesburg Bantu Associations Saturday League. They won the Division Two title, and that saw them gain promotion to Division One.

One key member of the teamed named Andrew Bassie came up with a suggestion to change the club name to Orlando Pirates. His idea was adopted, and that is how they acquired their new and current name.

Irvin came into contact with the club in 1980 when he became its secretary. During his era, the team performed so well and rose to greater heights. In 1991, he became Orlando Pirates’ owner and was very instrumental in securing Absa Group Limited, who are the current sponsors of the league. Besides being the owner, he also served as the Chairman of South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Image: instagram.com, @orlandopirates Source: UGC From 2004 to 2010, he was part of the 2010 FIFA World CUP Organizing committee that was mandated with ensuring that South Africa adheres to the guidelines of hosting a successful Worldcup. In 2004, the University of Zululand honored him with an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy for his immense contribution to sports development. A notable thing that led to the recognition was his efforts to help South Africa win the right to host the Worlds most significant sporting event. In 2009, he was honored with an Honorary Colonel Logistical Division by the South Africa National Defense Force (SANDF).

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