In celebration of Orlando Pirates 80th anniversary this year, we have decided to compile of list of 50 greatest ever players to have worn the black and white jersey . We continue this week with the countdown from number 20 to 11.
20: Phil ” Mr Jones ” Setshedi a tough as tick defender who never resorted to rough tackling to win the ball. Many referred to him as “Mr Clean” who always leaving the field with short pants that looked like they were hardly used following 90 minutes of football. A lynchpin of the Pirates defence of the 1970 and early 80s, Setshedi was dependable whether in the air or a tackle. A natural born leader who later assumed the coaching reigns of the club and was Clive Barker’s number two during the 1996 AFCON winning Bafana Bafana side.
19: King Kaizer Matatazela Mkhwanazi a great, skillful midfielder of his time. A trendsetter who created plenty of goals for his teammates with his silky-skills and brilliant close control. Tricky and intelligent with ability to open up the oppositions. Recruited to the Pirates team by non other than Scara Sono on a campaign trail to bring fresh blood to the Ghost. A man with exceptional talent to can play anywhere in world football.
18: Johannes ” Yster” Khomane was a rock in defence that no opposition player wanted to go toe-to-toe with him fighting for the ball. He had stamina, pace and was a hard tackler. He could overlap all day supplying quality crosses to the strikers but still had the energy to be back in his position defensively at all times. Yster still works for the clubs development structures and is father to Papi Khomane who captained Pirates during his time at the club. “Ayigobheki le Ntsimbi”, you can’t twist this Iron rod. He joined Pirates from Pimville United Brothers and never looked back in a fruitful career that was characterized by bold, uncompromising style of football, a reflection of his remarkable level of fitness.
17: Keith “Mthakathi” Broad is the 1980 Golden Boot winner with 28 goals for the Ghost. The First white player to represent the Buccaneers in 1979 when he was signed from Wits University. A true-predator in front of goals who terrorized defenders and was difficult to contain given his imposing size. A darling with the supporters after they gave him a torrid start to his career with the Soweto side. They eventually nicknamed him “Mthakathi” believing he bewitched defenders to score goals and also Pirates supporters to accept him. Also he was first in the queue when Pirates did their pre-match rituals. Opened up the way for Pirates to sign other great white players like Phil Venter, Mike Lambert, Stuart Lilly and Patrick “Sgantsontso” Wasmuth. A symbol of resistance for the Ghost during apartheid South Africa.
16: George ” Harare” Makhubela arguably the most solid and complete defender of his era mainly playing at right fullback. Strong, balanced and energetic the man covered the field with relative ease. A coaches dream player who never set a foot wrong on the field of play. He could deliver great crosses into the box and was good passer of the ball. Equally adaptable and sometimes played in the middle of the field as an enforcer; to demonstrate his versatility. A fan favourite who was natural born leader.
15: Meshack ” Mr Executive ” Mjangqeka was composed well-rounded footballer that set tongues wagging whenever Pirates played. From his central midfield position he was always in control of the ball and could dictate the pace of the game. Exceptionally good defensively and equally at home in attack, Meshack was a complete football who was rightfully nicknamed “Mr Executive” to show is uniqueness to his teammates and club on the field of play. He later played for Benoni United with the likes of Litre Lata, a young Roger de Sa and William Khura Makhura.
14: Amos ” Heel Extension ” Mkhari was a wonderful, gloriously gifted midfielder who turned heads whenever on the field for the Ghost in the 70 and early 80s. He insisted on making his final pass to his teammates via the outrageous “back heel” of the foot. He possessed the most educated left foot in the football business and it is argued that he could make the ball to talk. A trickster genius, that scored and also created goals for his teammates with relative ease. A very popular figure with the Ghost supporters, who marveled his skills.
13: Nick “Bazooka” Seshweni was a loyal, committed and hard working midfielder who led by example at all times. A complete footballer; who could play in a number of assorted positions when required to fill gaps due to injuries or suspensions. A player of exceptional quality who scored goals and was a symbol of the club throughout his stay with the Ghost. Under his leadership Pirates won titles and even overcame stressful eras of infighting and instability. The fittest man on the field; who never shirked his responsibilities and was extra coach on the field. A good communicator capable of reading the game with aplomb to plot the opposition’s downfall. A symbol of Pirates’ never say die fighting spirit.
12. Alfred ” Russia” Jacobs was referred to as “From Russia with Love” given his exception skills goal scoring penchant, that every-time he scored his goals were a gift of love to the supporters. A fox in the box striker with quick reaction skills, he could strike the ball well and although not skillful his runs around the opposition last line of defence always created goals for him and his teammates. Exceedingly talented player and a great-spotter of football talent beyond his playing days. A winner at all cost, who seldom gave-up and served as an example to his teammates and anyone who craved to succeed in life.
11. Macdonald ” Rhee” Skhosana was an exciting striker who scored plenty of goals for the Ghost. Quick, skillful and deceptive; he had the ability to shoot accurately from even some obscure angles. A truly complete striker who was dependable for the Ghost and a fan favourite. Whenever he touched the ball the whole stadium erupted with sounds of “Rheeeeeee”