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Ted Dumitru left a great legacy behind - Anastacia Tsichlas

The late coach passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack at Eastgate Shopping Mall.

Ted Dumitru. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

JOHANNESBURG - Former Managing Director of Mamelodi Sundowns Anastacia Tsichlas, believes Ted Dumitru has left a great legacy behind him.

The late coach passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack at the Eastgate Shopping Mall.

The 76-year-old coached the country's big three clubs, guiding them all to silverware in a career that spanned over three decades.



Tsichlas says the entire South African footballing community is devastated by his passing.

He was one of the stand out figures of South African football, who dominated the domestic scene in the late 80s and 90s, before taking Bafana Bafana to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006.

Tsichlas, who affectionately called Dumitru, Teddy, says he was an unforgettable figure.

Dumitru will be remembered as the 'professor of football'.

At the same time, former Bafana captain Lucas Radebe says that while he never played much under Dumitru, he always enjoyed dealing with him.

"We worked together at Safa and he was well opinionated and I liked his courage, his will and his love for the game... When he spoke, you could hear the passion. He gave us so much for the love of the game, which is great."

Radebe says that Dumitru was more than just a coach.

"He had a good relationship with his players, he wasn't just a coach. And he had a great sense of humour as well, which is absolutely great for such a small man to summon so much power. He had so much power and passion and his achievements are unbelievable."

LISTEN: SA mourns Ted Dumitru.

THE LIFE OF 'GREAT' TED

Born in Bucharest in 1939, he played up until his early 20s before being forced to stop due to a spate of injuries.

Renowned for his tactical acumen, he took up a career in coaching that saw him travel to Germany and the United States before arriving in Africa, where his first job was as the coach of Zambia in 1980, where he spent two years.

After which he spent time in Swaziland and Namibia before settling in South Africa.

His first job in South Africa was at the Amakhosi and fittingly, that's where his club coaching career would end some 20 years later, winning back-to-back league titles.

In that period, he spent time with great success at the likes of Manning Rangers, Pirates and Sundowns, where he captured two league titles.

Dumitru followed that up by taking over the national team in 2005 but left the post shortly after his side's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006.

Safa technical Director Neil Tovey said his death leaves a huge hole.

"Ted was seen as a football man through and through, his passion was about the game, often critical as that is what you need when you want to move the game on."

'Master Ted', as he was fondly known in local circles for his formidable knowledge of the game, spent his later years as a technical consultant most notably at Sundowns.

Chairman of the PSL, Irvin Khoza, described it as a major blow.

"It's a great loss for South Africa, the man was for football."

WATCH: SA soccer fans say Goodbye to Mr Magic, Ted Dumitru