The story of Free State Stars Football Club is the story of a club that evolved from humble beginnings. It is also the story of a club with a legendary never-say-die spirit, defying the odds and adversity to remain a key player in South African football.

In 1977, in a small village in Qwa Qwa, Free State Stars was formed in its original guise as Makwane Computer Stars.

As its fortunes on and off the pitch changed, so too the club went through several incarnations. An early sponsorship deal with Fairway Supermarket saw the club change its name to Fairways Stars.

Fairway Stars


The club would also move its base from Makwane to Phuthadithjaba, the hub of Qwa Qwa’s economy.

A few years later, in recognition of its growing popularity and support among the locals and beyond, the club was renamed Qwa Qwa Stars. For their part, the people of Qwa Qwa embraced the club, took it to their hearts and christened their team ‘Ea Lla Koto.’

Ea Lla Koto supporters
As the club continued to grow and its appeal extended beyond Qwa Qwa, transcending local boundaries, it made sense to rename it Free State Stars, the name by which it is known today.

Free State Stars counts among its former players South African football luminaries such as Steve Komphela, Serame Letsoaka, David Radebe, legendary goalkeeper John Tlale, Siphiwe Tshabalala (he that scored that memorable first goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup) to name a few.

Today, Free State Stars stand eye-ball to eye-ball with Bloemfontein Celtic as the protagonists in one of South African football’s fiercest derby rivalries.

Some achievements at a glance:

  • 1986 – Promoted to the National Premier Soccer League (now known as the Premier Soccer League).
  • Coca Cola Cup Champions
  • BP Top Eight Cup finalists
  • Nedbank Cup semi-finalists (2012)
  • Top Eight finish (sixth place) – 2011/12 season


Baymed Cup glory – October 2005


Free State Stars celebrate after becoming Baymed Cup 06 winners. 14 October 2005 Kimberly ABSA Stadium - Baymed Cup Final 2006 - Free State Stars vs FCAK, Kimberly, Northern Cape, RSA Credit: ©Adrian de Kock / backpagepix

Stars celebrating Phakisa Cup glory after defeating Orlando Pirates (July 2008)

05 July 2008 Free State Stars celebrate their Victory Orlando Pirates vs Free State Stars , 2008 Phakisa Cup, DP De Villiers Stadium, Sasolburg,  South Africa © Pic Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix