A dark day for South African football has ensued. Yesterday, we learned of the passing of a loyal servant to the game – Mr Ted Dumitru. Few men have gone through such great lengths to build our country's football. We all owe him a great debt as we stand under the tree that he planted.
"Every time I see Mr Ted, I think of Scara Ngobese's goal against SuperSport United." – The Pong Pong
"R.I.P Ted. We will always have a soft spot for you in our hearts at Sundowns." – Pexstara
"May his soul rest in peace. He achieved a lot." – Tshepoll Oliphant
"RIP Prof, your boots will forever remain too big to fill, but your footsteps will never fade away, even after the stormy rains. Your ploughing fields will forever be filled with endless beauty that constantly reminds us of your great work. It is in these students of the game, Pitso, Manqoba and Dance Malesela, that the images of your beautiful artwork will forever stay with us. As admirers of your great work, they have now taken over your baton to fulfil your dreams. In the spirit of carpet football, we salute you." – Dr. Evil
On a personal note, I had the privilege of being possibly the last journalist to interview Mr Dumitru. This happened only a few days ago. He was a truly fascinating man. He achieved unbelievable heights in South African football, was never scared to speak his mind, and was a custodian of the true flavour of the local game. Most importantly, he was a humble gentleman to speak to, and that counts most at the end of the day…
Here is an extract from that interview with Mr Dumitru:
"I didn't come to Africa to make money… If you looked at my salaries with Chiefs and Sundowns, you'd laugh. But that was never in my mind… I came here to make a difference. I came to work on that South African football playing philosophy that I found so fascinating."
R.I.P Ted Dumitru, thank you for the memories, thank you for the footballers you created, and thank you for the happiness you afforded us.