29th death anniversary of unique rugby personality Denzil Kobbekaduwa falls today | Sunday Observer

29th death anniversary of unique rugby personality Denzil Kobbekaduwa falls today

8 August, 2021
Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa
Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa

Today, August 8, marks the 29th death anniversary of Lt. Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa who died in a bomb blast in Jaffna at the age of 52. Kandy’s sports lovers will never forget the late Lt. Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa.

He was a colourful military officer and a fine rugby personality. After hanging up his boots he continued his contribution to rugby as a reputed referee, a knowledgeable coach and an able administrator.

He was a product of Trinity College, where he started his sporting career.

He was not only a good rugby player but was also a top-class hockey player. He won Colours and the coveted Lion in rugby. In addition, he was also an athlete, basketball player and a cricketer.

He was a school prefect in 1960 and was subsequently appointed senior prefect the same year. However, this appointment lasted only for a week since he opted to pursue a career with the Army. He gained admission to the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, but opted for a military career.

He first played rugby for the Trinity senior team in 1957 and led the side in 1959. It was in 1960 that Denzil began his illustrious career in the Army and played for the Army rugby team in the 1964/65 season. In 1966, he was sent on compulsory leave and during that time he played for Havelock Sports Club.

In 1967, he crossed over to Kandy Sports Club and in 1969 led the club to the Clifford Cup final after 15 years, but the team unfortunately lost the final. He also played for Up-Country, Defence Services and Sri Lanka.

Once again in 1970, he was recalled to the Army and continued his rugby.

He is the only person who had the distinction of being the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) while playing the game. He was also a referee, a coach and an administrator and rendered an invaluable service.

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