We implore players to play for the name on the front of the jersey as it will lead us to then remember the name on the back; but what happens when the name on the front of the jersey legally seizes to exist? We have seen many clubs bought, renamed, reformed, relocated or declared defunct in our football life cycles, yet we cannot afford to allow that history to remain unprinted or unspoken of if we seek to raise our children in a world where the history of football is told and told in a manner that educates and informs while also entraining and evoking nostalgic football moments in time. A week is a long time in football, so some clubs may seem eons old to some of our readers, but we would like to warmly welcome our Football Historian in to give you Playing On Memory Lane; a feature that takes us on a trip down memory lane with a look at football clubs we have lost over the years.
Ria Stars F.C.
Full Name: Ria Stars Football Club
Nickname: Manyora (The Petty Thieves)
Based: Polokwane (Pietersburg), Limpopo; South Africa
Home Ground/s: Pietersburg Stadium (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium), Polokwane [15 000]/ Seshego Stadium, Seshego [15 000]
Colours: Blue, White & Yellow
Owner: Ria Ledwaba
Last Played In: Premier Soccer League 2001/2002 (Finished 12th/ 18)
Reason For Non-Existence: The league offered to buy the franchise’s status for R 8m in an attempt to lessen the number of teams from 18 to 16 and reduce fixture congestion, the offer was accepted by the club management.
Notable Former Gaffers: April “Styles” Phumo, Zoran Pesic, Jacob Sakala, Kenny Ndlazi, Shepherd Murape, Shane McGregor, Malombo Lechaba
Notable Former Players: Joel Seroba, Frank Makua, Andries Sebola, Thabang Lebese, Thapelo Liau, Sydney Moshikaro, Saul Molapo, Thembinkosi Biyela, Edward Motale, Mark McVeigh, Lucky Lekgwathi, Teko Modise, Masilo (Michael) Modubi, Rodney Tobejane, Abraham Kwenenyane, Sam Pam, Joseph Lekganyane, Elasto (Lungu) Kapowezha
The Grand Stand View
There was a shudder sent through the core of sides when they faced Ria Stars in Limpopo, Manyora were infamous for making every single game they played challenging if they were in the right mood and more often than not, the mood would take them against the bigger sides and the result was always a win for the football purist. We miss the goals and the entertainment that came with the flair and confidence the team oozed in abundance, we miss the influx of talented Limpopo bred youngsters and their cheeky goal celebrations; but above all else, we miss the stands filled with singing and dancing fans draped in blue and white celebrating their charges regardless of the result.
We have learned a lot as a fraternity from the fall of a team that should go down as one of the most entertaining teams to have played in the modern era, and the great people of Limpopo have been allowed yet another chance to witness a team steeped in similar principles achieve success, as Polokwane City have begun to fill that wretched void many felt would go unhealed for decades to come. We will always remember Ria Stars for the good they brought to our beautiful game while learning from where they failed as an organization. There are clubs that will change with the times and conform to a norm, but there are also clubs that change the times and define themselves as worthy of being remembered; there needn’t be any debating, glorious and awe-inspiring as they were, Ria Stars must be remembered as the latter.