Our History

Establishment of the club and early years

It all started in the 1950’s when a few young Greeks gathered at various picnic spots at weekends for fun and men kicked the ball around while their wives and girlfriends caught up on the events of the week. The young men soon started meeting regularly at various soccer facilities such as Mark’s Park and the Zoo Lake. They organised themselves into teams challenging each other and other similar amateur teams. Inevitably this led to organisation of a club with a committee of friends and acquaintances.

The club was named Apollo and a constitution was drafted. The first committee consisted of; Com Comninos, Homes Maroudas, Andonis Vrettos, Sassi Economopoulos, Denis Paizes, Simeon Yiannoglou, Taki Souris and many other.

John Orr Park was the first base of the Apollo club, which had tennis, soccer and other sporting facilities with change rooms with 80 active and playing members in the soccer team by 1957.

It was at that time that SAHETI was approached to allocate part of their 75 acre property in Senderwood to allow for the use and the development of sporting and recreational facilities. Com Comninos (Chairman – Apollo Club) met with Stamatis Lagoudis (President – Hellenic Community of Johannesburg) and Mr. Skoufis (Chairman – SAHETI) and agreement was concluded whereby Apollo was responsible for the levelling and development of the area of the grounds agreed upon. It was agreed that 11 acres of land was sufficient. A nominal fee was agreed upon to formalise the agreement and lease.

In the early months of 1958 discussions were held with the idea to amalgamate another two Greek clubs, namely the Athenians of Johannesburg and the Hellenic Cyprus Club playing Sunday league in Vereeniging and Saturday league in Johannesburg. Hellenic had been playing soccer for 11 years with the Southern Transvaal Football Association in various leagues. Unification of these three clubs took place and in August 1958 the Greek Sporting Club was borne. Members of all these clubs automatically became members of the new Greek Sporting Club and the soccer and basketball teams were named Corinthians.

At the beginning of 1959 the first general meeting was held and where a constitution was adopted and the first election took place.

The serious task began of developing the grounds and contenting with a forty foot drop before grounds could be levelled for the football fields, etc. The Bedfordview municipality assisted by dumping and filling the area for future soccer fields. With enthusiasm and good spirit the pioneers of the club tackled every obstacle from the spring water that was damaging the grounds to the levelling of the grounds.

With contributions, fund raising efforts and donations, the foundations of the club started taking shape – fencing, stands and pillars for floodlights started transforming the land into neat and state of the art sporting facilities.

In 1958 a Soccer and Athletics festival was held with teams as far as Harare and Cape Town gathering at the Greek Sporting Club. In 1960 the first Greek Wine Festival was held and which Nicos Gounaris was brought from Greece to perform.

During subsequent festivals famous singers and stars such as Nikos Xanthopoulos, Yiannis Voyatzis Dakis and many more performed. Membership in the early 1960’s grew to 300. It was during the 1960’s that an Olympic size pool was built, floodlights installed and additional tennis courts created. Donations were received from the Ithaquessian Society, Peloponnesians Society, United Tobacco, Pepsi Cola, I&J, plus time and energy from Stamatis Kallos and many others. Mr C. Darras donated funds for the construction of the hall, the plans for which were donated by Andrea Zenon.

The Greek Sporting Club, became the hub of Hellenism who at that stage lived in the immediate surrounding areas and Hillbrow. During the growth of Johannesburg and the surrounding environs in the 1970’s and 1980’s many Hellenes moved to new suburbs and areas, nonetheless the GSC continued.

Today the foundations laid by those pioneers in the 1950’s and 1960’s are moving into a new phase of development.

Highlights since inception

The highlights since inception include:

  • Corinthians competed in the Premier professional League in 1967 drawing large crowds;
  • The basketball team consistently won the top leagues in the late 1970’s, a period which also saw an exhibition game against Panathinaikos in the early 1980’s;
  • The establishment of the Black Aces Academy in 2009 in conjunction with the Black Aces Football Club (which played in the Premier Soccer League before the franchise was sold) owned by the brothers Mario and George Morfou; and
  • Fielding a team in the junior leagues which won the league and cup doubles undefeated for three years between 2014 and 2016.

Recent history

Prior to 2000 the chairman of the Greek Sporting Club was Paschali Paschalides. In 2000 Nick Kokkoris was elected the chairman of the Greek Sporting Club. His committee and he wanted to resurrect the Greek Sporting Club which had suffered greatly with aging infrastructure and lack of funds in the previous 10 years. This had rendered the club into a state of disrepair.

The new committee set about trying to raise funds to begin repairing the facility. The swimming pool, it was decided, was the first to go and it was filled. The decision was made as it was expensive to run and not many community members were making use of this facility as many had swimming pools in their own homes. The committee also appointed a caterer to try and resurrect the Darras Hall as a viable facility and get functions up and running including weddings and 21sts. At the time Nick Nicolaou and Pari Bamboulis were managing football together with Louis Ioulianou. Pari also ran the club tuck shop. Corinthians had 2 senior teams playing in the highest amateur leagues and 4 junior teams represented in the various leagues. The then committee recognized that the strength of the club had to be in football and appointed Lucas Ioannides as head of junior football (u6 to U13) in 2004 and head of Football (all ages in 2006).

Nick Kokkoris was chairman between 2002 and 2010 in this time the committee made the decision to convert the Darras Hall from a banqueting Hall to a Gym. The reason for this was that the Banqueting Hall was old and dilapidated, and the funds did not exist to repair this, and it was running at a loss. Logic prevailed and it was decided that building a gym would help the club with a dependable income flow. It was also decided to build an Astro 5 aside football field at the club with the idea that this would give the club income into the future. Those two additions to the club have proven to be hugely beneficial to the club in its endeavors to improve the facilities. See picture of facilities below:

In 2010 Nick joined the SAHETI Board and Mike Deftereos was appoint chairman of the Greek Sporting Club. Lucas Ioannides was appointed Head of all Football at the club. Mike was chairman for two years before Lucas Ioannides became chairman in 2013. It is in these years from 2013 to 2017 that football really grew at the club. Lucas Ioannides partnered Corinthians Football with Black Aces Football Club (which played in the Premier Soccer League before the franchise was sold) owned by the brothers Mario and George Morfou. This brought the Greek football community back to the club and the teams numbers soared. At one stage the Corinthians Club had over 40 (from 4) youth teams playing in various leagues as well as 4 senior teams.

Between 2014 and 2020 we have seen some significant and exciting changes at the Greek Sporting Club that has certainly helped to revive the club greatly.

  1. The first major change was in 2013 to do away with the old road which was full of potholes and was semi tarred and to replace this with a fully paved road and parking lot. This came about through extensive fund raising in 2013 and 2014 by the committee which included a Wine Festival, the GSC famous Sports Quiz and Poker fundraising games. The completion of the road was hugely beneficial and transformed the club significantly.


  1. In 2013, The Greek Sporting Club made the decision to support the New Pan-Hellenic Voice, The Greek Radio Station which broadcasts from the property. The Greek Sporting Club committee did not charge rent to the radio station at any time and paid for the radio stations electricity account in its entirety, which it continues to do today. In addition, the Greek Sporting Club also covered other costs including parking, infrastructure, plumbing and the security.


  1. The next project that the committee undertook was in 2014 and that was to negotiate with Saheti to take over the fields next to the Greek Sporting Club’s main field. Saheti did not require those fields. This was needed as Corinthians FC was growing and it needed more fields. Those fields were in a great state of disrepair and the club needed to spend a lot of money in order to bring those fields into a match-ready situation. In addition, the club (with the partners Black Aces) also erected floodlights on both the fields so that the fields could be used at nights. In addition to this the dilapidated building was also revamped with new bathroom and changing facilities and showers and a new balcony area and storerooms so that it could be used by both Greek Sporting Club members and Saheti School when they used the fields for their sporting events.


  1. A Football Academy was also established in 2014 on the property called the Corinthians Black Aces Academy where the elite players could play. This over the years is proven to be a very successful endeavor as many players were promoted from the Academy to professional football, and its most successful graduates are Christos Retsos who now plays in Greece for Panionios FC, Thabo Nodada, captain of Cape Town City and a Bafana Bafana player and Bradley Cross who is now a Newcastle FC player in England.


  1. The committee realized that an essential ingredient missing from the Greek Sporting Club was the social element that was part of the club in days gone by. Even though the Greek community had changed in many ways there were still a yearning for areas where people could socialize together. With this in mind it was decided in 2016 to develop what was then the tuckshop into a restaurant/clubhouse for the Corinthians members and for the Greek community in general. It was recognized that it would be crucial to have a facility for younger children to come and play where and where parents could meet and socialize so this was put into place. The Greek Taverna was opened with the Children’s Play land adjoining the Greek taverna. This Taverna hosts functions banquets and also is an attractive venue on a Sunday where the Souvla Sunday tradition has been revived and is extremely popular.


  1. Intermittently the committee had also upgraded other facilities including plumbing, which was a constant source of challenge, transform the fields into world class playing facilities, resurface the tennis and basketball courts on a number of occasions and put a new state of the art Astro pitch on the existing field as the maintenance and upgrading of the gardens.


  1. In 2018 it was decided to try and resurrect the classic wine festival that always took place at the Greek Sporting Club. The committee felt that there was a yearning for this from the community. The event was held in late September of 2018 and was a resounding success. When the final numbers were counted over a two day period over 6000 people came to visit the Greek Sporting Club to be part of the wine festival. Future wine festivals were planned but unfortunately due to Covid were put on hold. (for now).


  1. The most recent improvements to the club was the decision taken to replace the entrance. This was an ambitious project that came into fruition with the help of Zotos Construction, specifically Costa Zotos who very kindly donated and built the guardhouse. The paving of the entrance was donated to the club by the Vice Chairman, Nick Lazanakis and his company, the BDO Group. The Greek Sporting Club raised the balance of the project funds. This is a significant facelift to the club. The security at the club is significantly improved and with the cameras all-round the club the members and players/children safety has been improved. In addition, in 2020 the decision was made to lay fiber right around the club so that any future project that required Internet connectivity could be catered for.


  1. In the first full season post Covid the club showed good signs of revival with some teams performing really well. The U10’s were league winners in 2021 and in 2022 the U8’s were cup winners and the U19 league winners. The club will build on this and go from strength to strength.

Current Committee

Chairman – Lucas Ioannides (Head of Football/committee 2006 – 2010, Vice Chair 2010 – 2012, Chairman 2013 to Current)

Vice Chairman – Nick Lazanakis (committee member 2016 – 2018, Vice chairman 2018 to present)

Honorary Secretary – Lucio Caldeira (committee member 2016 – 2018, Honorary Secretary 2018 to present)

Treasurer – Nick Efstathiou (committee member 2015 – 2018, Treasurer 2018 to present)

Maria Kyriakides 2022 – present (head of football 2022)

Basil Balassis 2000 – present

Louis Ioulianou 2014 – present

Anabela Pinto 2020 – present

Theo Schunke 2015 – present

Gavin Barker 2019 – present

Past Chairpersons

1992 – 2000 – Paschalis Paschalides

2000 – 2010 – Nick Kokkoris

2010 – 2012 – Mike Deftereos

2013 – present – Lucas Ioannides

Vice Chairpersons

1992 – 1998 – Nick Nicolaou

1998 – 2002 – Manny Sarras

2002 – 2005 – Andrea Christodoulou

2006 – 2010 – Kosta Kominos

2010 – 2012 – Lucas Ioannides

2012 – 2016 – Kyriako Ioulianou

2016 – 2018 – Maria Avramides

2018 -present – Nick Lazanakis