the old football clubs
by Gamini Perera
The founder of Renown was the late Vincent Peiris.
This youthful football outfit which was reaching the pinnacle of local football was first coached by a Benedictine soccer captain, Edward Jayawardene. Later, the club gained the services of that veteran coach, the late Albert Fernando. After the death of the founder, Vincent Peiris, his eldest son Subash took over the reins of the team.
The talented Renown soccerites practised four times a week. They moved from the Ratnams playground to the Mutuwella stadium at Mutwal due to the lack of a ground to call their own.
In the FA Cup tournament of 1985/86, Renown fared impressively having been scored 50 goals in five matches, and in the process creating a ground record of 19 goals to nil against the Eleven Youngsters SC. They entered the final and went down fighting 2-4 to Saunders in the final of the FA Cup tournament.
Their star player in this prestigious tournament was striker, Arumugam Devendran, who netted in a record 26 goals, including a double hat-trick against the Eleven Youngsters SC.
In 1985, Renown SC fared well in the M. H. Mohamed Invitation tournament, having called upon to play nine matches in a short span of eleven days. Having entered the final of this tourney, Renown went down fighting once again to Saunders 1-2. Major Plum
Renown, won its first major plum in 1983, when they carried away the handsome V. A. Sugathadasa Memorial Trophy, beating their home rivals, Ratnam SC by 3 to 1.
They entered the final, ultimately beating their toughest opponent so far, Saunders SC 3-1 in the semi-final.
In 1987, without the services of a coach, the gutty Renown players did Sri Lanka proud by winning the POMIS Cup in an invitation tournament in the Maldives.
On their road to glory, Renown beat such erstwhile teams like, New Radiant SC, (Maldives) 1-0, Valencia SC, (Maldives) 3-1, and beat their local rivals, Saunders SC 3-1.
Initially, Renown beat Saunders 3-1 in the round-robin fixture and romped home worthy winners, beating the Kehelwatte side in a fierce penalty-kick competition, after that rousing final had ended in a scoreless draw.
In 1986, Renown participating in the M. H. Mohamed Invitation tournament drew 2-2, against the Pakistani Railways, which included not less than four national stars. Their impressive motto was: "Renown believes not only in its success alone, but, the success of its opponents, too, through healthy rivalry".
Renown SC, at its peak had won many trophies with their gallant and exciting brand of football.
After Renown won the Mayors cup in 1989, its President, Subash Peiris presented the team with tour of South India, which included, Tamil Nadu, Trivandrum, Kerala, Karnataka, Hyderabad, Calcutta and Bombay.
It was during this tour that Renown harnessed the services of the late Albert Fernando who was in Tamil Nadu then.
The President of the club, the versatile Subash Peiris speaking to this writer in the late 1980s said: "It is my fervent hope to build a club house to call it our own and an adjacent pavilion for the boys, who are doing extremely well in the local football circuit to relax. We are much handicapped without a ground of our own. "But, that dream did not realise as Subash had to leave to Tamil Nadu to take care of his business ventures, which needed his close attention".
It was no secret that Subash Peiris spent over Rs. 50 lakhs on Renown, paying some players a monthly dole, too.
With the exit of the Peiris family from the management of renown SC, a dark cloud has been blinding their performances, for a large number of years. Not only its players, but the thousands of spectators who enjoyed the fine artistry and the gallant sportsmanship of Renowns players, are waiting with bated breadth till that silver lining dawns to the image of the club, once again.
This writer who had seen the fantastic achievements of Renowns players could vouch to the fact of its supremacy which adorned the local soccer arena like a, flash from the blues.
We hear that Subash Peiris is back in the country.
Will he get into the grove of the presidency of Renown SC is a question worth asking.
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