Former Rugby Star Shafi Jainudeen Passes Away
SHAFI Jainudeen, a rugby star of the 1970s, passed away in Melbourne last Friday. He was 62.
He succumbed to the ravaging and incurable disease in a private hospital, with his family by his side. He was detected with cancer last April in Colombo, where he worked as Director at J D McLarens. He opted for medical treatment in Melbourne, Australia, his adopted country – but his illness was beyond recovery. Fullback JainuDeen had an outstanding schoolboy career representing Trinity College from 1966 to ’69, the last year as captain of the team that won the Bradby Shield. His Trinity team mates included such illustrious players as Glen van Langenberg, Ajit Abeyratne, Gogi Tillekeratne and Mark Sunderalingham, all of whom went on to become national players.
His club career was equally impressive. He represented the Havelocks from 1970 to 76, being captain in 1975. He was a member of the 1970 team, led by Jeff Ratnam that shared the Clifford Cup with the Police, as well as the Desmond Harridge-led team that won the Cup outright in 1974. He represented Sri Lanka in the 1974 Asiad in Colombo, in which the country finished second to Japan, by far the best achievement in the tournament’s history. He is the third player from the 1974 Havelocks Cup-winning team to depart, following the deaths of flanker Thajone Savanghan and Jeffrey de Jong. JainuDeen is survived by his wife, Trudy, daughter Soraya and son Malik.