The star on Pirates badge explained

Orlando Pirates

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A lot of has been said about Pirates adding a second star to their jersey, but very few fans know that the Buccaneers had their first star even before they were crowned African champions in 1995.

To illustrate the point, on the latest KICK OFF magazine cover, a star can clearly be seen above the badge on William Okpara’s jersey.

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After reaching the 1995 African Champions Cup Final, Orlando Pirates added the first star on their jersey ahead of the match against Asec Abidjan.

Whether that was an oversight or not, the team won the Cup and added the star, as can be seen on Brandon Silent’s jersey (right).

But it remains a mystery on what would have happened to the star had they lost the match.

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After winning the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, Bafana Bafana did not add a star on their jersey, even though other Nations Cup winners Egypt, Cameroon, Tunisia and Zambia have done so.

To this day Bafana Bafana, like Nigeria, do not sport the Afcon-winning star.

So why haven’t Bafana added a star to their badge?

Adding a star to a national team or club jersey is not an action sanctioned by Fifa or an earned privilege, it is a decision taken by a team concerned to represent an important trophy or trophies the team has won.

Uruguay: 2 World Cup wins, four stars ...

All eight former Fifa World Cup winners have stars on their jerseys. But Uruguay, who have won the Fifa World Cup twice, have four stars – two for winning the World Cup and two more for winning the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.

So how did the star thing start?

The first team to add a star on their emblem was Juventus in 1958, to commemorate winning 10 League titles.

Since then, all the Italian Serie A teams who have won 10 titles have added a star to their badge.

Juventus now have 29 titles – officially. However, they would have had 31 if they had not been stripped of two (2004/05 and 2005/06) after the infamous Serie A match-fixing scandal.

In response to this, the Bianconeri removed all stars from their badge this season.

Swedish football clubs have followed the Italian example and also add a star every time they win 10 League titles.

Other examples of clubs with stars on their badges

In England, only five clubs have stars on the team logo. Nottingham Forest have two stars for winning back to back European Cups in 1979 and 1980, while Ipswich Town have three for winning the 1962 English First Division, 1978 FA Cup and 1981 Uefa Cup.

Huddersfield Town have three for becoming the English side to win three English First Division titles in a row between 1924 and 1926.

Aston Villa have one for winning the 1982 European Cup, and Bury have two stars for winning the 1900 and 1903 FA Cups.

The most successful European Cup/Champions League club in England, Liverpool, do not have any stars.

To see these images in large format, check out our gallery here!