Denzil Kobbekaduwa, a ruggerite par excellence
The 20th death anniversary of war hero Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa
falls on August 8 (tomorrow) Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa better known as
Denzil was a great leader who went on to bag major honours both for his
country and the Army. Denzil was born in Kandy on 27th, July 1940. He
had his early education at Trinity College Kandy, where he excelled in
sports, especially rugby football. He joined the Sri Lanka Army in May
1960. On completion of his training as an officer cadet at the Royal
Military Academy, SandHurst U.K. He was commissioned as a Second
Lieutenant to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps on 3rd August 1962.
As a young man General Kobbekaduwe was a cheerful, energetics and
efficient officer who won the hearts of all who came into contact with
Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa
He was an electrifying rugby player for the Army as well as for his
country. He also made a great contribution to uplift the standard of the
game in Sri Lanka by his involvement in the fields of refereeing,
coaching and administration. His outstanding ability in his chosen
profession as well as sports enabled him, his unit, the Army and Sri
Lanka to bag several laurels.During school days at Trinity, Denzil was
awarded the coveted Trinity Rugby Lion along with E.D.K. (Eric) Roles
(1960 captain) and Johnny Buultjens (jnr) in 1959. Denzil also won his
hockey colours and was President of the Lemeul House Association and
senior Prefect in 1960.
During his time there were some great names with three Sri Lanka
They were Nimal Maralanda, Mike De Alwis and Sari De Sylva also not
forgetting his team mates Ken De Joodt, Jayanthissa Ratwatte and
Jayantha Jayawardana, who was also involved in this conversation,
revealed that Denzil was his first rugby captain when he was
15-years-old, when he attended 1st XV practices during the holidays and
chose to represent Trinity. Denzil represented the Ceylon Rugby Football
Unionís President XV in 1970, he was elected as Secretary of Central
Province RFU and also look part in the 1970 Rugby Asiad held in bangkok.
Denzil was elected as a committee Member of the Sri Lanka Rugby Referees
Society in 1976/77 and was the referee who accompanied the Sri Lanka
Rugby team to the 6th Rugby Asiad in Kuala Lumpur in 1978. He coached
the Sri Lanka Army to win the Clifoord Cup in 1975.
Denzil played as a scrum half for the Army after Berty Dias from 1963
Denzil played for Kandy SC from 1966 to 1969 captaining in 1969 when
they lou to CR and FC 6-12 in the finals. After rejoining the Army in
1970 he played for Army from 1970 to 1972.
He was also Secretary of the SLRFU in 1972 and 1973. He was also a
top class referee who offiated in several cup finals including the 1978
and 1984 cup finals.
There were lot to learn from Denzil and he was a brilliant star on
the rugby field as well as a good administrator, who also captained the
Army rugby team in 1974. His distinguished service was duly recognized
and was awarded several decorations as well as the Vadamaraachchi
Operation Medal, the Purma Bhumi Padakkama and the Rana Wickrama