Today's Highlands Park Talking Points
Highlands Park F.C. was a professional association football club in Johannesburg, South Africa, that existed from November 1959 to February 1983. In 1971, Highlands Park F. C. merged with Powerlines F. C. from Nigel – a city located 61 km southeast of Highlands North in Johannesburg, and also playing in the top flight National Football League. But after playing only two seasons with the name Highlands Power F.C. in 1971–72, the club decided to change back its name to the more well-known Highlands Park F.C. in 1973. Ahead of the 1979 season, the club signed a five-year sponsor deal with Dion, that soon introduced a lot of changes to the club. Beside of changing the players outfit to orange, the club also made an effort to maximize publicity of their new sponsor, by renaming the club to Dion Highlands F.C. in 1979. As the media however continued referring to the club simply as "Highlands", the club made the radical decision in February 1980, to skip the long lasting historical part of their name, with the official name being changed to Dion F.C.. Apparently this change however only lasted for a very short while in 1980, as the newspapers continued referring to the club as "Dion Highlands F.C.", in the subsequent years from 1981 to February 1983.
The club played its last official professional match at 12 February 1983, where the club lost the final of the special NPSL cup competition known as BP Top Eight Cup, with the score 0–2 to Orlando Pirates. Ahead of the 1983-season, the club's league franchise for NPSL, was purchased by South African international football player Jomo Sono. The professional remainder of the club was continued under the new club name Dion Cosmos, which ahead of the 1984-season was renamed to Jomo Cosmos.
The amateur and youth department of the club, however continued to exist as an independent club, with the name "Balfour Park juniors" and the amateur seniors playing with the name "Highlands Park"; and they managed to re-establish the grand old amateur club as a new top-level professional phoenix club, when they got promoted to play in National Soccer League for the 1991-season. After the 1991-season, the club had played well enough to avoid relegation, and was then bought by the relegated NSL club Port Elizabeth Blackpool, as part of a merger deal, where the new team continued to play in Johannesburg and continued to compete with the name "Highlands Park FC". When this merged club, once again had managed to avoid relegation after the 1992-season, this at the same time meant, that they ceased to exist. The professional side of the club and its NSL licence, were bought by the new club Welkom Eagles, with a relocation of the team for the 1993-season, now to play 267 km away from Highlands North, in the city known as Welkom.
A second phoenix club with the name "Highlands Park FC", was established with some more long-lasting success in 2003. This club started out to play in the fourth tier of the South African Football league, known as SAFA Regional League; and then got promoted in 2007 to compete at the third tier, known as Vodacom League.Close