Last Saturday (8th August) was the 23rd death anniversary of Lt General Denzil Kobbekaduwa. He was one of the finest ruggerites and war heroes in our contemporary history. He made the supreme sacrifice when LTTE terrorists activated a bomb on 8th August 1992.
Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa, an old Trinitian, joined the Sri Lanka Army on 25th May 1960. After the basic military training at the Army Training centre, he left for Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK for further training and was commissioned to the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps as a Second Lieutenant on 3rd August 1962.
Denzil was born in Kandy on 27th July, 1940 to Loku Bandara and Iona Ratwatte Kobbekaduwa as their second child. He grew up in Kandy at Deldeniya. He had his nursery education at Hillwood College, Kandy which happens to be the sister School of Trinity College. In 1946 he was admitted to Trinity College to begin his educational activities. It is on record that Denzil excelled in his studies and sports from his early days at school.
His excelled in Rugby, Hockey & Cricket at Trinity. He captained the Trinity Rugby 1st XV Team in 1959 and was awarded the Trinity Lion. He was the vice captain of the Trinity hockey team in 1959 and was awarded College Colours in hockey.
He later played rugby for Army, Havelock SC and his best moment in rugby was when he played for Kandy SC in the late 1960’s and in 1969 he led the club at the Clifford Cup final after 19 long years. He also played for CR and FC ‘Bees’.
In rugby he was a national player, then played for Up-country and the Defence Services. He was a top class referee, coach and at one time was the SLRFU secretary.