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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Sri Lankan Cricket cheerleader ‘Uncle Percy’ passes away

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Sri Lanka and the global cricketing community are in mourning following the passing of the legendary cricket cheerleader, affectionately known as ‘Uncle Percy,’ at the age of 87. Percy Abeysekera, an iconic figure renowned for his unwavering support and passionate cheers, has left a lasting impact on the world of cricket.

Percy Abeysekera, a name that resonates with cricket fans worldwide, was more than just a spectator; he was a symbol of enthusiasm and dedication to the sport. His distinctive presence in the stands and his infectious energy made him an integral part of Sri Lankan cricket.

Born on 30 July 1936, Percy hailed from a well-known family in Boossa, Galle. His educational journey took him to St. Aloysius College in Galle, where he developed his love for cricket. It was during his time at the college from 1947 to 1954 that he was initiated into the world of cricket cheerleading.

Percy’s roots in cricket cheerleading trace back to his time at ‘Bloomfield’ Club, where he initially began cheering for the team. Notably, he played a pivotal role in introducing future cricketing stars such as Bandula Warnapura and Lalith Kaluperuma to Bloomfield.

Percy’s journey was also one of family and community, with strong connections to education and public service. His father was a teacher and later a school principal, while his mother was a teacher and eventually a headmistress during the British colonial era. In addition, he had two brothers and two sisters, and his family tree included prominent figures like Stanley de Zoysa and M. P. De Z Siriwardena, former Ministers of State in Ceylon.

In 1968, Percy married Meloney De Silva from Moratuwa, and together, they raised two children, a son named Garfield (a namesake tribute to the legendary Garfield Sobers) and a daughter.

Percy’s commitment to the game of cricket and his iconic cheers made him a beloved figure among players, fellow fans, and even opposing teams. His spirit and love for cricket will continue to inspire generations of cricket enthusiasts, and his legacy will forever be intertwined with the history of Sri Lankan cricket.

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