Elrio van Heerden

Elrio van Heerden (/ˈɛlri væn ˈhɪərdən/, Afrikaans: [ˈɛlrjʊə fan ˈɦɪərdən]; born 11 July 1983) is a South African footballer who plays as a midfielder, most recently for ABC Motsepe League side PE Stars. He was previously also been an established member of the South African national team, representing the nation from 2004 to 2009.

Elrio van Heerden
Elrio van Heerden
Personal information
Full name Elrio van Heerden
Date of birth (1983-07-11) 11 July 1983 (age 36)
Place of birth Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1995–1997 Glenville Celtic
1998–2001 NMMU
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Copenhagen 25 (5)
2006–2009 Club Brugge 57 (1)
2009–2010 Blackburn Rovers 0 (0)
2010 Sivasspor 6 (0)
2010–2011 Westerlo 20 (0)
2011–2012 Golden Arrows 18 (0)
2017–2019 PE Stars 0 (0)
Total 126 (6)
National team
2004–2009 South Africa 37 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

Van Heerden started his career with Glenville Celtic[1] and moved 1998 in the Soccer School of Excellence which was part of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

FC CopenhagenEdit

He came to Denmark in 2002, where he spent his first two years learning from the older players. Elrio got his debut in 2004 against AaB at Parken Stadium, and the little South African immediately wrote history with his equalizer short before the final whistle. The goal meant, that FC København could secure the championship in the next (and last) round against FC Nordsjælland at Farum Park, which they did with a 4–2 victory.

Club BruggeEdit

A move to Club Brugge was made on 24 January 2006, where he spent two years with the Belgian club scoring two goals from his 67 appearances.

Blackburn RoversEdit

It was announced on 2 June 2009 that Van Heerden had agreed a two-year deal with the Premier League club Blackburn Rovers,[2] arriving on a free transfer from Club Brugge. He only played two official matches for the club; in the League Cup against Gillingham in the second round, and Chelsea in the quarter-finals, both as a second-half substitute.

On 8 January 2010 it was reported that Elrio was close to signing for Turkish club Sivasspor. Goal.com revealed that Elrio was due to travel to Turkey for a medical ahead of signing on Monday 11 January 2010.[3]


On 11 January 2010, Blackburn Rovers announced the transfer of the South African midfielder to Sivasspor.[4]


On 27 July 2010, Belgian Pro League side Westerlo announced the signing of Van Heerden.[5]

In November 2012, after having been without a club since the end of the 2011–12 season, Van Heerden had an unsuccessful trial with MLS side Sporting Kansas City.[6]

PE StarsEdit

Elrio van Heerden taking a corner for PE Stars

In 2017, after five years out of the game, van Heerden returned to sign for ABC Motsepe League side PE Stars.[7]

International careerEdit

He has so far won 37 full international caps for South Africa, scoring three goals.[8] He represented "Bafana Bafana" at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 6 July 2005 Home Depot Center, United States   Mexico 2–0 2–1 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
2 23 January 2008 Tamale, Ghana   Angola 1–1 1–1 2008 African Cup of Nations
3 31 January 2008 Kumasi, Ghana   Senegal 1–0 1–1 2008 African Cup of Nations



South Africa national team
Year Apps Goals
2004 6 0
2005 10 1
2006 4 0
2007 3 0
2008 4 2
2009 10 0
Total 37 3


  1. ^ "About Glenville". Glenville Celtic. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Rovers sign South African star". Blackburn Rovers. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Sivasspor Close To Signing South African Elrio Van Heerden". Goal.com. 9 January 2010.
  4. ^ "South African departs". Blackburn Rovers. 11 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Elrio Van Heerden: alleen nog medische testen" (in Dutch). Westerlo. 27 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  6. ^ "No takers yet for Van Heerden". The Sowetan. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  7. ^ Piliso, Mfundo (10 January 2018). "Ex Bafana player lauds the prospects of PE Stars". Daily Dispatch. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  8. ^ "South Africa – International Appearances" Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. RSSSF. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Bafana Bafana". SAFA. Retrieved 15 March 2013.

External linksEdit