Trinity College Rugby skipper of both 1957 and 1958, Rugby Lionsman Kandy, Up Country, Low Country Havies, Uva and All Ceylon rugby player Ken de Joodt is no more. He was 76 years at the time of his death.
Ken will also be fondly remembered for being the sixth consecutive Trinity rugby skipper to win the blue riband of schools rugby – the much coveted Bradby Shield in 1957, the first year of his captaincy versus Ratna Sivaratnam’s Royalists (later Chairman – blue chip Aitken Spence and Sri Lanka Export Development Board) when Trinity won the Shield from 1952-1957, but, sadly lost the Shield in the second year of his captaincy in 1958, to Maurice Anghie’s Royalists.
Ken was a classy back division player. He played for his school in all age groups, as Full-Back, ‘Centre’ and Fly half. At Trinity he also excelled in hockey, and played along with A.C.B.Marambe, Uvais Odayar, L.U.B.Dissanayake, A.R.Frank, Denzil Kobbekaduwea, and L.D. Karaliyadde and won the hockey colours in 1957.
While still at school, De Joodt was invited to play for Kandy Sports Club, and he played a few games along with Maurice Perera, Mike de Alwis, Dharmasiri Madugalle, Uvais Odayar, M. Famy, A.R.M.Azain, Miles Christoferz. From Nittawela he came over to Havelock Park, and played for the Park Club later, before taking up planting, and he played for Uva.
During his school days De Joodt was rated as the best inside-three-quarter. He had the privilege of playing for Outstation Schools, Combined Schools, later for Up-Country, Low-Country, Ceylon Barbarians, All Ceylon. In the good old days, there was no Asiads but there were matches against visiting teams from England, then he played in the famous All-India Tournament for the national team.
He was a master in goal and touch kicking, and also would execute at stop speed, side step, scissor pass, dummies, up-and under. He was a fine team player.
As a ‘three-quarter’ he was in a class of his own. He first played for his school, senior team at the age of fifteen years in 1955 under the leadership of M.G. (Mahinda) Ratwatte and in his very first year De Joodt won his rugby colours along with A. J. W. Balthazar, V. Boteju, R. T. de Silva, D. N. Frank, Franklyn Jacob and F. Omar. That year Royal were led by C. V. Gooneratne and the Trinity team comprised of M. G. Ratwatte, Ken de Joodt, R.N de Alwis, A.S.B. Ellepola, G. Aludeniya, Uvais Odayar, E. C. Fernando, R. T de Silva, R.B. Abeyakoon, A. Pilimatalawa, V. Botejue, Franklyn Jacob, D.N. Frank, N. de Soysa, F. Omar, A. J. W. Balthazar.
In 1955, the first ‘leg’ of the Bradby was won by Trinity 6-0 and the second ended nil-all.
In the year 1956, Trinitians were led by D.N. Frank and Royal by Lionel Almeida. The first leg went in favour of Trinity who beat Royal 15-0 the second leg too went in favour of the Trinitians 11 – 0.
The Trinity team was represented by D.N. Frank, Ken de Joodt, M.V. Boteju, A.J.H.W. Balthazar, Franklyn Jacob, R.J. de Silva, G. Weerasinghe, U. Atanayake, Nimal Maralande, J. Dias de Singhe, Uvais Odayar, R.N. de Alwis, S.P. de Silva, A.S.B. Elelpola, Mike de Alwis.
Ken de Joodt captained the 1957 Trinity team and they won both matches: 8-nil the first game and 9-8 the second game. However, the result was reversed in 1958 where the first game went Royal’s way 6-nil and the ‘return’ was a nil-all draw.
In 1958, The Ceylon Rugby Football Union vs. Combined Schools annual rugby encounter, which was to be played on 2nd of August was cancelled and in its place a match between Outstation Schools and Colombo Schools was fixed and was played on 9th of August, that was the first-ever game between the two teams for the Gratiaen Cup.
Ken de Joodt led the Outstation Schools and the Colombo Schools team was led by Royal skipper Ratna Sivaratnam, later Group Chairman of blue chip Aitken Spence and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
This inaugural game was won by Ken de Joodt’s team, by 13 points (two goals and a penalty) to nil, in which Ken was responsible for seven points off his boot and also initiated the movement which ended in one of the tries, another three points.
Then earlier on, in 1956, the first ever Combined Schools rugger team was picked to meet the Ceylon Rugby Football Union team at Longden place.
That team had nine Trinitians – R.T. de Silva, Mike de Alwis, G. Weerasinghe, R. Ingleton (S.Thomas’) G. Weerasinghe, W. Balthazar, D. Frank, Franklyn Jacob, Lionel Almeida (Royal- Capt) and T. Muttiah (Royal), V. Boteju, S.P. de Sylva, Ken de Joodt, J. Fernando (St. Peter’s), I. Cader (S. Thomas’).
Reserves – S. Ettipola (Trinity), L. Schokman (S. Thomas’), R. de Sylva (Royal). In this game, the schoolboy rugger players went down fighting, by 27 points to 13 on 4th of August at Longden Place.
Ken de Joodt in his retirement, was Senior Marketing Manager, Ceylon Shipping Corporation and was also a Guest Writer of the Ceylon Today.
Ken was a regular author for the Trinity College Kandy Worldwide Website, archive of his articles can be found over here.
Article written by Ravi Ladduwahetty, as appeared on Ceylon Today
Published 2 years ago by Ravi Ladduwahetty