THE AMAZULU STORY
The team was established in the early 1930’s when it was known as Zulu Royal Conquerors.
After performing well in their games, the team was introduced to the then Zulu King, King Solomon kaDiniZulu in 1932, it was then that King Solomon decided to change the team’s name to Zulu Royals. The King gave the team owners the right to use the Shield as the team’s logo and changed the team colours to royal blue and white.
Upon establishment Prince Bayisikili was placed as the team guardian at eMsizini and later replaced by Prince Sithela. The team’s headquarter was at the eMbelebeleni Royal Kraal and by then, the team colours had changed to bottle green and white.
On the day of King Bhekizulu’s Funeral in the year 1968, the team was due to escort the King’s coffin as a way of paying their respect, however they chose to play a Cup game against SAPPI Homestars at eMandeni to which they lost 4-2. In honoring the king, Mr. Shezi , Mr. Nsele and Mr. Magwaza, adorned in the team’s uniform, stepped in to escort the king. After that game an argument ensued between the supporters of the club causing division within the supporters; Prince Sithela and others criticized the team for not mourning the Zulu King. The continuation of this brawl and division led to Mr Gideon Sibiya and Mr. Ntuli, who had accompanied the club to eMandeni, pulling the club away from eMbelebeleni to eWema resulting in it no longer being recognised at/by the eMbelebeleni Royal Kraal.
At the end of 1970 the remaining committee members consisting of Mr Mkhize and Mr Ralph Mabaso decided to rebuild the team from scratch, recruited players, acquired a kit and appointed Mr Bethuel Masondo as the team manager. The committee went on to register the club as Zulu Royals United and Mr. Bethuel Masondo as its sole director. They decided to take the team back to eMbelebeleni Royal Kraal as its headquarters.
In 1971 a team by the name of “African Wanderers”, located in Kwazulu Natal, was experiencing problems while playing in the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). This called for the decision by the NPSL to instruct the KwaZulu Natal Football Association to suspend African Wanderers from the league and replace them with another team from KZN. The KZN Football Association then recommended the following teams: Union Jacks, Durban City All Black, Zulu Royals United or Young Dribblers.
The NPSL’s chairman at the time, Mr RD Sishi, decided to appoint Zulu Royal’s United as a replacement owing to its stature, representation of the Zulu nation and a significantly larger support base than its recommended couterparts. So, 1971 Zulu Royals replaced African Wanderers and went on to finish 6th on the log. They were also voted club of the year. The following year,1972, the club won the NPSL league title securing 44 points from 26 matches and only losing 2 games.
In 1973 Zulu Royal suffered a huge set back when the then manager Mr. Bethwell Masondo left the club and taking with him several prominent players. After this unfortunate incident the club went into a mid-season slump which would see them lose their league title. In 1974 the running of the club was taken over by the supporters and in the same year the team changed to AmaZulu Football Club.
Again, there was a fraction, led by Mr. Francis Dlamini who managed the reserve team, which decided to part ways with the reserve team and head back to Bhekizulu hall and rename their team back to Zulu Royals United, nicknamed “esikotshi”.
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 FC to finals of mainstay Cup and Iwisa Charity Cup, where they were narrowly defeated twice by Kaizer Chiefs. In 1990 the club reached the Bob Save Super Bowl final which they lost with a last-minute goal against Jomo Cosmos. In 1992 the club won the inauguration Coca Cola Cup and in 1993 finished 3rd on the log.
Succeeding Mr. Dlamini’s leadership was Spar Natal, Mr Ncanana, Mr Dan Naidoo, Mr Mike Segal and Mr Dave King. In 2002, Mr Sisa Bikisha took the reins of the club and changed the name AmaZulu Football Club to Zulu Royals.
In 2005, Dr Patrick Sokhela bought the club from Mr Sisa Bikisha, decided to revive the once mighty outfit of the Zulus by reverting back to “AmaZulu Football Club” as the name of preference. This decision was after many consultative meetings with the supporters in Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng, who wanted the old name AmaZulu FC back.
Today, under the leadership of Mr Sandile Zungu, the club is in great hands and we cant wait to see where it will be in 2032. One thing is certain, there will be a great story to tell!