Bucs legend diagnosed with dementia


Former Orlando Pirates coach Joe Frickleton has become a shadow of his former self after being admitted to hospital in Cape Town with dementia.

Frickleton remains one of the most successful coaches in the country after leading Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Lusitano to a number of trophies before disappearing from professional football in 1995.

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The Scotsman took Bucs to the African Champions Cup final after taking over the coaching reins from Mike Makaab halfway through the season.

He stepped down after the 2-2 home draw with Asec Mimosas in Johannesburg due to behind-the-scene problems.

Ronald Mkhandawire later replaced him for the second leg of the final in Abidjan, where the Sea Robbers won the game 1-0 thanks to a Jerry Sikhosana strike to bring the continental trophy home.

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Martin Cohen, a friend and former teammate at Highlands Park, has confirmed Frickleton's condition to KickOff.com.

"He is in hospital in Cape Town. He is suffering from dementia. He can't remember anything or remember anybody," says Cohen, who visited the former Bucs coach at his hospital bed.

"He was a great coach. Joe hated losing. He was a champion. He was the Alex Ferguson of South African football. At Highlands Park he won a trophy in every season [as a player].

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"Highlands Park was the Manchester United of South Africa between 1960 and 1979. They won a trophy every season except in 1968."

Frickleton last spoke to this website in 2013 when Pirates qualified for the CAF Champions League final.

"Like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates is a club with a lot of tradition and when the players put on that jersey they take a lot of pride because they know what it means and what is expected from them," he said during an interview with Zola Doda.

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