Kandy Veteran ruggerites to felicitate Madugalle | Sunday Observer

Kandy Veteran ruggerites to felicitate Madugalle

Rugby legend Dharmasiri Madugalle, the oldest living Kandy Sports Club ruggerite and captain will be felicitated by the Kandy’s veteran ruggerites .. It is an undeniable fact that Kandy has produced a number of sportsmen who represent the country and Dharmasiri Madugalle has been one of the most enduring from the time he showed his class in the field of rugby,

Madugalle , was a versatile sportsman and a dedicated rugby promoter. He was an outstanding

wing-three-quarter during his days. He learnt his rugger at Trinity College and first played for the senior team in the 1950’s, he was also a fine athlete. He first played rugby for his school in the early 1950 and led the school team in 1953. Under his leadership Trinity won the Bradby Shield

13-0 the first leg at Bogamabara (2 goals and 1 try) and 2nd leg at Longden Place 3-0 (1 penalty), the other game was against St. Peters College that too, Trinity won, His 1953 squad comprised players of the calibre of R.H. Ratwatte, K. Boteju, R. Adihetty (Vice Captain), L. Vithaane, A. Bandaranayake, C. Unamboowe, P. Weerasiri, C. Nikatenne, A. Nonis, L. Stewart, Maurice Perera, P. Ramanathan, R. Aluwihare, B. Jacob, G. Sochkman ,R.Alwuihare, L.

Geddes, F. Omar, Quinetin Israel, Mahinda Ratwatte. B.A. Nonis, H. Hardy (Coach), N.S. Walter was the principal.

Dharmasiri won his rugger colours in 1951 .He led the Trinity athletics team in 1951 and 1952, and in 1952 was placed second in the Public Schools 120 yards hurdles, and Long Jump. In the same year he won the De Soysa Challenge Cup as the best senior athlete and also colours. Some of the top athletes during his time were S. Wickremasooriya, L. Kadirgamar, T.P de Silva, U.T. Mollogoda, A.S.B. Ettipola, V.Boteju.

During his days, Madu was a fine wing-three-quarter, who was unstoppable with the ball. He was invited by Kandy Sports Club and then principal of Trinity College N.S. Walter released him to play for Kandy Sports Club as a schoolboy in 1953 and went on till 1961. He was in the Kandy Sports Club’s first Clifford cup final team in 1954 and also in the following year 1955,

both years they lost to CR & FC. He was a member of the Sri Lanka team from 1955 to 1965. In 1964 at the age of 24 years, he led Kandy Sports Club .

During the 1960’s there was a great rugby promoter known as Noel Gratiaen, who wanted the authorities who were handling the game to come forward to organize a Ceylonese team to play in the All India tournament. At that time CH & FC were playing in the All-India Tournament, and also there was a European team. So, the first Ceylonese team who took part in the All Indian

tournament had players like Dharmasiri Madugalle, Percy Madugalle, Willie Ratnavale, Fred Kellar, Percy Perera, Clair Roeloff, Archibald Pereira, Ray de Zilva, and Percy de Zilva

He had a long innings with Kandy Sports Club, he was the first to became the captain to hold the President and Patron’s posts. at one time , He was a committee member, vice president. Affectionately known as “Madu” he has been described as great value as a rugby player who

represented his school Trinity College and thereafter, Kandy SC, Dimbulla ACC, Dickoya MCC, Uva Gymkhana Club, Up Country, and All Ceylon.

By profession he was a reputed planter, and later served as the Manager Tea Museum.