BRC hockey stalwart Wally de Zylva was a ‘tri-sport champion’


Zylva’s debonair Wally has raised eyebrows in everything he’s done, not only for his striking good looks, but also for what he’s accomplished on and off the hockey field.

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

He was a mainstay of the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) for over three decades. It was inspiring to watch him play on the 1964 Pioneer Shield winning team, just before his 50th birthday.

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

He was vice-president in the years 1962 to 1966 and on the selection committee from 1955 to 1957 and from 1960 to 1966, being president three times.

He also refereed several national championships as well as the Delhi HA/Ceylon series in 1966.

He was the sole proprietor of Wally’s Motor Garage in Kotahena, which imported motorcycles, and was himself a champion rider representing Ceylon in the Isle of Man in 1950.

A great promoter, he sponsors 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 between 1940 and 1955.

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

Fact sheet:

Walter (Wally) F de Zylva (b. 1915)

Position: Far right
Club: BRCC


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


In last week’s article titled “Gentle Giant Vernon Prins”, the inappropriate photo was inadvertently posted. We regret the error.


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