SA coaching legend Ted Dumitru dies at 76
Nicknamed ‘The Professor’, he led Kaizer Chiefs to back-to-back PSL titles in 2004 & 2005.
JOHANNESBURG - Former Bafana Bafana coach Ted Dumitru has died after collapsing at the Eastgate Shopping Centre, east of Johannesburg, this morning.
He was treated by paramedics on the scene.
Nomzamo Radebe, CEO of JHI Retail, said in a statement:
"Eastgate Centre Management can confirm that on Thursday, 26 May 2016, a customer collapsed allegedly due to medical reasons in Woolworths and passed away. On-site medical services attended to the customer, but unfortunately they could not resuscitate the customer. The details of the incident are under investigation by the South African Police Services and the Centre Security. Our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences go out to the family during this difficult time."
The 76-year-old, nicknamed 'The Professor', led Kaizer Chiefs to back-to-back PSL titles in 2004 and 2005.
He also coached Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates coach.
The Romanian-born coach was one of few coaches to have managed South Africa's so-called 'Big Three'.
Dumitru was one of the most decorated names in South African football.
He last worked as the technical director for Mamelodi Sundowns.
In a career that spanned over three decades, he spent time in Zambia, America and his native Romania, but it was in South Africa where he really shined.
His first job in SA was with the Glamour Boys, with whom he enjoyed huge success.
SOCCER FANS SHAKEN BY NEWS OF DUMITRU'S DEATH
The world of soccer has begun expressing their shock at news of Dumitru's death, with the South African Football Association (Safa) joining many fans in sending their condolences.
TED DUMITRU has passed on.— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) May 26, 2016
Many have said this marks a monumental loss to South African football.
Sad day for South African football Rest In Peace Ted Dumitru @nealcol— Ali-G-Dj Superstar (@jujumyson) May 26, 2016
Former Bafana Bafana captain and current Safa technical director Neil Tovey says he had planned to see Dumitru today.
"We were scheduled to talk at the same seminar, on football youth development, and sadly we heard that he had a heart attack - and then we heard a little later that he had passed on."
Ted Dumitru was due to speak at this seminar at 14h45 and that's the time the delegates were informed of his passing pic.twitter.com/leOWbSt232— Tracksuit (@ThabisoMosia) May 26, 2016
Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has also paid homage to the legend.
Dumitru is largely credited with playing a huge role in the development of football in the country.
In their tribute, the founding members of the Transnet School of Excellence, General Secretary Steve Pila and the President Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko, said Dumitru pioneered the idea of early age activation in football.
The duo expressed their shock in a statement by the South African School Football Association say they have learned a lot from the 76-year-old.
"We have worked with him as individuals as well as part of a system when the Transnet Football Development Centres across the country produced a blue print in a form of the Transnet Sport School of Excellence and the rest is history," said Mazibuko.