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BRC hockey stalwart Wally de Zylva was a ‘tri-sport champ’-BY DENNIS DE ROSAYRO

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Wally de Zylva-Vernon Prins

Wally de Zylva-Vernon Prins


The debonair Wally de Zylva raised eyebrows in whatever he did not only by his striking good looks, but also what he achieved on and off the hockey pitch.

A very intelligent player, he would position himself perfectly to receive a pass, then sprint down the right flank and slip in an array of passes for teammates to score.

He was a stalwart of the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) for over three decades. It was inspirational to see him play in the winning Pioneer Shield 1964 team, just short of his 50th birthday.

In 1955, his contribution towards the Colombo Hockey Association was immense. Representing the BRC, his output towards the final drafting of the constitution is worth mentioning.

He served as Vice President in the years 1962 to 1966 and in the Selection Committee from 1955 to 1957 and 1960 to 1966, being Chairman on three occasions.

He also umpired at several National Championships and also the Delhi HA/Ceylon series in 1966.

He was the sole owner of Wally’s Motor Garage in Kotahena, who imported motor cycles, and was himself a champion rider representing Ceylon in the Isle of Man in 1950.

A great promoter, he sponsored Zacky Deen on a Yamaha TD 350 and Fricky Khan on a Yamaha TD 250 to win numerous events.

Wally was a founding member of the Otter Aquatic Club and the Ceylon Surf Lifesaving Club during the period 1940 to 1955.

He also represented Ceylon at Water Polo – a legend indeed.

Fact File:

Walter (Wally) F de Zylva (born 1915)

Position: Right Extreme
Club: BRC


1947 vs India
1950 vs Indian Army Southern Command
1953 Ceylon HF tour of Madras and Bangalore


In last week’s article titled ‘Gentle Giant Vernon Prins’ the inappropriate picture was carried inadvertently. We regret the error.

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