Bernard's first love is football
By Gamini Perera
According to Bernard, a man of a cheerful disposition, the foundation of the Maddinnagoda SC was the formation of Golden Stars SC in 1963. A few years later, it was Bernard who took all the trouble to harness the services of the younger generation to introduce the club with the name of its village, Maddinnagoda, lying in the banks of the famous Diayawanna Oya, overlooking the Parliament.
In appreciation of the valuable deeds of the club, the late Minister Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi, with the fullest co-operation rendered to him by the youth of the village, built a pavilion and a playground to call it their own.
The United Club, which was them managed by the now defunct Nugegoda FL, received all the assistance, thanks to people like, the late Neville Abeygunawardena, Telesphre Dias, W. D. Mahilal and P. D. Jayasena, who imparted their fullest benevolence to ensure the club a successful tenure.
With the faidfading away of the Nugegoda Football League, the club is now under the jurisdiction of the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte FL.
It was on a request made by G. A. K. Abeysekera, the then secretary of the Colombo FL that Maddinnagoda SC fielded a team in the CFL tournament under the banner of Vikings SC. Vikings SC, on their part has fared well in the Colombo tournaments they have participated so far.
"I have devoted a good part of my life towards the promotion of Maddinnagoda United and I see the fruits of my hard labour, with the youngsters, weaning away from bad habits and joining us to be civic-minded men through this sports organisation. Needless to stress, that they are persons with pessimistic ideas, whose negative approach we ignore. Helping the youth of the village to progress through sports is our bounden duty," says Bernard.
November 15, 2003 will be another remarkable day to Bernard and the club. For this Saturday, the Maddinnagoda United SC will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. A grand final between the Obeysekerapura, Eagle SC and Bandaranaikepura’s Sarasavi SC has been lined-up with all the fun and fair befitting such an event. The evenings’s proceedings will come to an end, with a fabulous Musical Show expected to go till the wee-hours of the next morning.
A rear felicitation
The former, Hewawitharan MV alumni, who is employed at Walkers Limited, said that the club last year felicitated him by organising a football tournament for the Bernard Perera Challenge Trophy which turned out to be a rousing success. "The players and the supporters of the club told me that my services must by appreciated when I was among the living and it does not matter when someone’s devoted work are praised when he is dead. This was the purpose of that felicitation ceremony," said a happy Bernard with a tears in his eyes. Bernard Perera feels that the Football Federation, too, needs to support the clubs, like Maddinnagoda SC for the onerous duties they perform. After all, the Football Federation is our guiding light and the recognition and the plaudits it pays poor clubs like ours will certainly go much far, for us to work more harder and to carry on the good work towards making football the No. 1 sports in our land, at least a letter of appreciation, will go very far," enthused Bernard.
Besides, Bernard’s promotional work for football, he is also a fine announcer, who does a good job without any payments for his announcing.
Bernard says that his wife, Pushapakanthi, a diploma holder in bridal dressing, has been his silent supporter all along. "My wife supports me in my sporting endeavours. To make good citizens through sports is our abiding goal," concluded Bernard Perera.
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