The club was founded by the late Norman Mathobisa and Victor Mahatanya in 1969 as Mangaung United. Mahatanya and Mathobisa administered the club until the early 1980s when financial challenges forced them to sell the club to Petrus "Whitehead" Molemela. In 1984, Molemela took over the club and changed the name to Bloemfontein Celtic (after Celtic F.C.). In November 2001, after the relegation of Phunya Sele Sele, Molemela sold his shares in the club to Demetri "Jimmy" Augousti, a former Celtic player.
After only three years out of the top-flight, the club regained its PSL status with an impressive season in 2003-04 when they were crowned First Division champions. They also managed to win the 2005 SAA Supa 8 and the 2007 Telkom Charity Cup.
In 2009 they formed a partnership with Portuguese club Sporting CP, that included the creation of a youth academy, based in the capital of the Free State.
Max Tshabalala who also owns Roses United took over from Jimmy Augousti on 21 July 2014.
In the South African PSL, only five non-South African nationals can be registered. Foreign players who have acquired permanent residency can be registered as locals. Namibians born before 1990 can be registered as South Africans.