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Founder of local football team mourned

Mike Mokoena (68), founder of local Eastern Free State football team Free State Stars, succumbed to cancer on Wednesday (17/06).

According to a family statement, Mokoena had been receiving treatment at the Sandton Oncology Clinic at the time of his death.

Mokoena, one of the founders of the National Soccer League, has been praised for his role in empowering the youth in the Free State. He founded Free State Stars, originally known as Makwane Computer Stars, in Makwane in 1977.

The team was later renamed to Qwa Qwa Stars before taking on its current title.

Free State Stars, now based in Bethlehem at the local sports ground Goble Park, plays in the National First Division and was formerly known as Makwane Computer Stars and QwaQwa Stars.

Mokoena put Bethlehem on the football map with this teamAs Free State Stars the team and put Bethlehem on the football map,

Mokoena is credited with placing Bethlehem on the map with this football side.

The team’s most significant feats were winning (as Qwa Qwa Stars) the 1994 Coca-Cola Cup, which was renamed the Telkom Knockout in 2006, and claiming the Nedbank Cup in 2018.

Mokoena was also well-known as an entrepreneur with a shrewd business sense.

He leaves behind not only Free State Stars, but a legacy of successful businesses.

  • At the time of going to print, no funeral arrangements had yet been finalised.
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