Tode Markovski first came to the United States in 1962 at the age of 16 years old.
In 1963, at the young age of 17, together with a few friends, founded a team called the “Macedonian Soccer Club,” that played in the Schaffer League.
Tode played for the Macedonian Soccer Club from 1963-1969. During this time, he was offered a full scholarship at Montclair State University in 1965 to play soccer for the University. Unfortunately, he had to turn down the offer because he needed to work in order to send money to his family back in Macedonia.
A few years later, in 1969, Tode was forced to give up playing soccer because of a kneww injury. In the fall of 1969, after he completed his physical therapy for the kneww, he decided to take a class to become a referee. His teacher was Savino Caldarado, currently a member of the NJSA Hall of Fame. That year, he earned his referee license from the United States Soccer Federation.
Shortly thereafter he started refereeing beginning with the youth teams…for free. For the love of the game, he wanted to give back to the sport what he knew best. Ever since, he has been a referee. He officiated games with children as young as 8 years old, enjoying watching their new found love for soccer. He also officiated in middle and high schools, watching some of his players open their own soccer facilities, and become adult players.
While continuing to referee the games, Tode’s took pleasure from watching those young players that grew up to become adults and yet had the same passion and love for the sport as he did. Such pleasure kept him waiting for the next game. It kept bringing him back to that 16 year old who came to America with the passion for soccer. Refereeing gave him the opportunity to remain involved in soccer after his knee injury but also has allowed him to be around friends that still encourage him and fuel his fire to continue to be involved in soccer.
Ironically, even now, after all these years, Tode referees the youth teams…the only difference is that now he gets paid.