Shafi Jainudeen - an ace of a rugby full-back
Shafi Jainudeen was lucky that his parents lived in Kandy in close
proximity to Trinity and Trinity it was which gave him an all-round
education on the lines that Derryck Aluvihare spoke of when he said "a
Trinity education is what a Trinitian gets when he is not attending
Out of the classrooms it was rugger that took his fancy. His first
foray into the game was in 1965 when he played in the U17 team captained
by Ajith Abeyaratne.
In 1966 he was in the 1stXV captained by Glen Van Langenberg; '67 and
'68 under Ajith Abeyaratne and captaining the side in 1969 to win all
their matches with handsome margins except the SPC game which was drawn
No other school scored a single point against Trinity. In the four
year period under review Trinity lost only to STC 3-8 in 1966.
Some of the best who laced their rugby boots were his colleagues:
Glen and Ajith as captains; Jupana Jayawardena, Mark Sundaralingam, Alex
Lazarus, Gogi Tilekeratne, Isphanan Omar who now masquerades as Izwan,
Nihal and Tikri Marambe, Mohan Balasuriya, Seevali Samarasekera, John
Furlong, Irwine Howie, Russel Tennekoon and Y.S.Ping.
Like any other Trinity ruggerite except for Kavan Rambukwella,
straight out of school, he played for the star-studded Kandy Sports when
Denzil Kobbakaduwa and Y.C.Chang wanted to have the best three-quarter
line. The line was manned by Jayantissa Ratwatte, Chang Fa, Seevali
Samarasekera, Fredrick 'Goofy' Prins, George Jayasena and Shafi as
full-back. They beat Havelocks, Kandy Rugby Football Club, CH&FC and
faced CR&FC captained by Mohan Sahayam in the Finals. It was a game that
they might well have won had referee Darley Ingleton not gone back on
his decision: Jayan was tackled in possesion by Indrajith Cumaraswamy
and as the ball fell back, Chang Fa picked up the loose ball and touched
down with Ingleton running behind, his hand raised to signal thr try
but, unaccountably, he blew for a knock-on.
1970 saw Shafi sporting the chocolate and brown jersey of Havelocks
who were, under the captaincy of Jeff Rutnam the Joint Holders of the
Clifford Cup. In 1974 Havelocks, captained by Desmond Harridge won the
Clifford Cup outright.
Shafi played for Colombo Clubs, captained by Noel Brohier, against
London Welsh in 1972 and in the same year, for Colombo Clubs captained
by Anton Benedict against the Emus In 1974 Shafi was in the Asiad team
captained by Desmond Harridge.
Whilst in Colombo he was employed by Freudenbergs and he had a galaxy
os sports stars as his colleagues, chiefly Roy Dias, Lanil Tennekoon,
Tajone Savanghan, Hafi Abdeen, Jeff Rutnam, Rohan Perera, Ruwan
Samarasekera and Mohamed Anvar.
In 1975/76 he had an year's stint with Hayleys before spending 25
years of his life in Dubai, then going to Kenya, Bangladesh, Singapore
and one year as CEO of McLarens. He has since settled down in Sydney,
Australia where i he is the General Manager of PLM Global Management Pty
Limited a Company dealing in global transportation.
Two who have been instrumental in the growth of his life are Rohan de
Silva and Ajith Abeyaratne and he his for ever grateful to them.