Sri Lanka’s ‘Godfather of Football’ P.D.Sirisena passes away

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P.D.Sirisena

Legendary former Sri Lanka football player, coach, instructor & administrator P.D.Sirisena passed away at the age of 77 on Monday (18th Dec) at his residence in Rajagiriya.

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Sirisena suffered from a long term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, believed to be Parkinson’s Disease. In the last few months of his life, he was confined to a bed and fed on a liquid diet through a tube.

A student of Maradana Central College, Sirisena capped for Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon at the time, in 1960 while still in school. He went on to play 35 matches and captain Ceylon. A Saunders SC player throughout his club career (1956-1972) in Sri Lanka he went on to play club football in the Netherlands, Wales and Bangladesh. During Sirisena’s playing days, he guided Saunders to a majority of their 21 FA Cup and League championships.

A playground Instructor even during his playing days, Sirisena would reach the same heights as a coach as he did as a player. An AFC A license holder and instructor, he coached Sri Lanka from 1976-1979 and from 1980-1987. Sirisena coached New Radiant FC in Maldives and eventually coached the Maldives National side in 1988.

Sirisena’s coaching career which spanned over 30 years saw him produce many a current and former player and coach. He also headed the Technical Department of the FFSL as the Director.

A statement issued by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) read that the FFSL executive committee had decided to undertake all funeral arrangements.

Sirisena’s remains will rest at the Saunders SC club house from 9.00am-12.00am on Tuesday (19th Dec) and at the Jayarathne Funeral Parlour on 20th & 21st December. The funeral will take place on Thursday (21st) at 5.00pm at the Borella Cemetery.