FREE STATE STARS football club has lost its founder ntate Mike Mokoena due to cancer.
The passing of Mokoena was confirmed by Premier Soccer League in a press release.
Mokoena founded QwaQwa Stars back in 1977 in a small village of Makwane, FS.
In 1986 the team was promoted to then NSL and went on to win the only silverware Coca Cola in 1994. The team is currently back at NFD league.
Free State Stars, a family club, is also commended for having produced households brands namely former Kaizer Chiefs Siphiwe Tshabalala, Steve Komphela, Serame Letsoaka, Mpho Makola, Sithembiso Ngcobo, Edward Manqele and Thabo Matlaba, amongst others.
“He shined a spotlight on a little known town in South Africa. He literally put Qwa Qwa and the town of Bethlehem on the map,” the PSL said in a statement.
“The economic activity generated by Free State Stars in that part of our country is a powerful legacy of a passionate man that always maintained that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’.”
Mokoena a businessman, also gave back to his community.
For years he was a member of the Executive committee of the National Soccer League (NSL).
A statement was issued by family that read: “The Mokoena family is saddened by the passing on of our father and founder of Free State Stars football club‚ Ntate Mike Mokoena‚” the family said.
“He succumbed to cancer after a long battle. He was receiving treatment at Sandton Oncology Clinic when he departed in the early hours of Wednesday.”
Some years ago he almost sold the status of the club due to non-support from the local government of FS and lack of sponsors.
His son Rantsi played a pivotal role in the development of the club, although his father was ‘not yet ready to hand him the baton’.
Those close to him described ntate Mokoena a very influential figure in influencing those keen in politics to cross boarders during apartheid era.
He had experienced problem with health in the past.
Ntate Mokoena is also related to award winning sportscaster Robert Marawa.
He was 68 at the time of his death.
May his Soul rest eternally in Peace!
Image (Mike Mokoena, FS Stars boss with his sons and Robert Marawa during interview, is no more).