Sundowns is the most successful club in the PSL with a total of five league titles. They have won five league championships since its inception in 1996. The club remained on top for three seasons in row, between 1997 and 2000. The other two championship triumphs were also achieved in succession in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.
Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has its roots in Marabastad, a cosmopolitan area in the north-western part of the Tshwane CBD. Marabastad was a culturally diverse area until the Group Areas Act was enacted and its residents were forced to relocate to Atteridgeville, Eersterus and Laudium.
Sundowns Football Club was formed in the early 1960s by a group of youngsters who called Marabastad their home. Among them were Frank “ABC” Motsepe, Roy Fischer, Ingle Singh and Bernard Hartze. In 1937, the club affiliated to the the Federation Professional Soccer League. In the same year, Sundowns FC reached the finals of the Coca Cola Cup in an eight goal thriller, losing 5-3 to Berea United.
Non-racial football and titles
In 1978, the Federation Professional Soccer League joined the National Professional Soccer League, marking the end of the league. Sundowns were relegated to the second division of the National Professional Soccer League. This move proved to be costly for the club, as they battled for five years in the second division.
Four years later, South African football became the first non-racial sport in an institutionally segregated country. The National Soccer League was formed incorporating the top clubs in the country and this became the inspiration Mamelodi Sundowns needed. They claimed the top spot of the second division and secured promotion to the First Division in 1985.
It would only take two seasons in the top flight before the plucky Brazillians would claim their first trophy. They beat Jomo Cosmos 1-0 in the final of the Mainstay Cup at Ellis Park. By the end of 1987, this recently promoted team had won the BP Top Eight, JPS Cup and the Castle League Championships.
Despite all the success, the club has had its fair share of owners too. In 1988, the club became the property of Standard Bank, that repossessed the club from Mr. Zola Mahobe. The Twin Pharmaceutical Group, owned by the Krok brothers, then bought the club from Standard Bank. Angelo and Natasha Tsichlas also joined the ownership of the club during this time.
New Name, Same Club
In 2003, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe bought 51 per cent shares in the club. A year later, he bought the remaining shares and became the sole owner and shareholder of the club. The club was renamed Mamelodi Sundowns as a nod to its heritage in Atteridgeville, Eersterus and Laudium and the club’s home in Mamelodi.