17 June 2020 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has learnt with shock the passing on of Free State Stars chairman, Mike Mokoena.
He was one of the founding member of the National Soccer League (NSL), and a long standing member of the Executive Committee.
Mokoena founded Free State Stars in 1997 and led them to promotion into the professional league in 1985.
“It is with great shock that we learned of the passing on of Mr Mokoena, a loyal servant of the game alongside the likes of the the late Petrus Molemela and many others. As the South African Football Association, we are deeply saddened by his unexpected death,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“Our sincere condolences to the Mokoena Family, friends and relatives, as well as the Free State Stars community. We know that the Province has lost a committed member of the game. You ran your race, you finished the course; may your soul rest in eternal peace.”
Mokoena sold his club to to the league in 2002 when the PSL reduced the number of teams from 18 to 16, but he bounced back to football after buying the status of Ratanang Maholosiane and renamed it Free State Stars.
They returned to the PSL two years later.
Stars won the 1994 Coca Cola Cup, Baymed Cup in 2006 as well as the Nedbank Cup in 2018 with Mokoena as the chairman.
Free State Stars History:
- Founded in 1977 in a small village of Makwane in an area then known as QwaQwa, the club gained promotion to the National Premier Soccer League in 1986
- The team won the league cup (then known as The Coca-Cola Cup) in 1994 with Bunene Ngaduane leading the scoring charts
- To avoid fixture congestion the club’s franchise was sold to the Premier Soccer League in 2002
- The following year, Mike Mokoena revived the club as he bought and renamed the franchise of National First Division side Maholosiane
- FS Stars regained their Premiership status in 2005 after winning the Mvela Golden League
- After a disappointing season in the top-flight, with the first team finishing bottom of the table, the club was relegated
- The 2007–08 season however proved to be a huge success with Stars dominating the First Division and securing promotion to the Premier League once again
- They also won the inaugural Baymed Cup in December 2006 beating FC AK in the final.
Honours under Mike Mokoena:
Nedbank Cup: Winners – 2018
Coca-Cola Cup: Winners – 1994
Baymed Cup: Winners – 2006
Mvela Golden League: Champions – 2004–05, 2006–07
Second Division: Champions – 1985