Tributes pour in as SA remembers Ted ‘The Professor’ Dumitru
South Africans from all walks of life have reacted to news of the legendary coach’s death on Twitter.
JOHANNESBURG - The South African football community is in shock this afternoon, following the death of former coach Ted Dumitru.
He died earlier today, after collapsing at the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
The 76-year-old, known as 'The Professor', coached Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in a career that spanned over three decades.
Fans have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the former coach and express their sadness and shock at the news.
Sad to hear the news about the passing of Ted Dumitru. Will always be remembered as a man who had youth development running though his veins— Glyn Binkin (@Glyn_Binkin) May 26, 2016
Sad day for South African football Rest In Peace Ted Dumitru @nealcol— Ali-G-Dj Superstar (@jujumyson) May 26, 2016
The South African government and political leaders have joined Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula paying homage to Dumitru.
RIP Ted Dumitru https://t.co/YcgM9mfkHQ— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) May 26, 2016
Saddened by the passing of the legend coach Ted Dumitru— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) May 26, 2016
The leader of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa, remembers him for his contribution to South African football.
https://t.co/Bdat7pKKEI. Rest in peace Ted. You have contributed a lot in our football.— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) May 26, 2016
Following the lead of the South African Football Association, local football clubs which Dumitru often found himself clashing against have lauded the Romanian for his work in SA football.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Ted Dumitru. He's been such a loyal servant to this amazing... https://t.co/mDjebUVaFP— AmaZulu FC (@AmaZuluFootball) May 26, 2016
But perhaps the tribute which pulled the heartstrings of many comes from delegates that had gathered in the expectation of being addressed by the coaching giant today.
SAFCA Technical Advisory Board member Sudesh Singh says Dumitru was looking forward to the seminar.
"It is ironic that his untimely death occurred today as we bring about unity amongst coaches and dispel this myth that there are divisions in the coaching fraternity. He must be smiling from above in heaven, seeing one of his dreams fulfilled".
Ted Dumitru has passed away. He was due to address these coaches at today's coaching seminar. It was his brainchild. pic.twitter.com/RArale9wDn— Tracksuit (@ThabisoMosia) May 26, 2016
Dumitru is being remembered as a man with soccer in his veins and changed the way the sport is played in this country.
Former Bafana Bafana captain and current Safa technical director Neil Tovey says Dumitru's record spoke for itself.
"He coached those two big clubs and was very successful in winning leagues. You have to have good credentials when you coach and win leagues as much as he has. He was very much into maximal training and how you can condition players but mainly with the football."
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.
WATCH: SA soccer fans say goodbye to Ted Dumitru
Earlier, Eastgate Centre Management has confirmed that "a customer" collapsed at a Woolworths store today.
It said efforts to resuscitate the customer on site were unsuccessful, and that the matter is now being investigated by the South African Police Service.
The management has sent its most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.