The local soccer fraternity is in mourning after the passing of Free State Stars chairman, Mike Mokoena.
The administrator was one of the founding members of the National Soccer League (NSL), along with current Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza and others.
Free State Stars boss passes on
He revived the famous Bethlehem-based outfit in 2002 after the franchised had been sold to the PSL as the league underwent a revamp.
On Wednesday, the PSL issued out a statement confirming his passing.
"Mr Mike Mokoena, Chairman of Free State Stars Football Club, one of the founding members of the NSL and longstanding member of the Executive Committee, has departed," Khoza said in the statement.
"Mike Mokoena was a self-made man that took the fruits of his toil, which he could have used for his personal benefit and that of his family, and invested selflessly into football.
"The Free State Stars payroll that he created and maintained, sometimes under very trying circumstances, is a source of viable livelihood for many./\r\n/"Bra Mike was an epitome of practicality. People do not come more practical that Mr Mokoena lived.
"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 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.
"Mike Mokoena, through his toil, left this world a better place than he found it.
"May his soul repose peacefully."Dr Irvin Khoza, PSL chairman
Tributes pour in for Mike Mokoena
Mokoena was the father of well-known South African actor Thapelo, who is one of those who sent out tributes to the late soccer administrator.
According to his son's post on Instagram, Mokoena had been battling cancer.
View this post on Instagram
Rest In Peace Dad 🕊 • I’ve been dreading this day coming for a long time now. You put up a good fight with this cancer. Thank you for Life. Thank you for the years. You can rest now. You also chose to leave on your Son’s birthday. • LALA Kahle Mokoena. Thank You... Oh Man.. 💔💔
Many in the soccer fraternity sent their condolences to the Mokoena family.
☠ Orlando Pirates is saddened by the passing of South African Football Giant and one of the Founding Fathers of the League – Mike Mokoena.June 17, 2020