Pissu Percy is Not RIP …. Hodi Heleyi Heleyiaaaahhhh

Michael Roberts                      

The burgeoning news in August that Percy Abeysekera had passed away — news that spread faster than Percy’s sprints around the boundary during his younger days — is FALSE. Percy is merely in hospital.

As an Aloysian who is a tad younger than Percy, let me note that as a 14-year old I was part of the cheering squad marshalled by Percy and Royle Barthelot when the Aloysian cricket team faced opponents at the Galle Esplanade.

As we all know, Percy’s engagement with cricket was all-absorbing and his energy was limitless. In his younger days he would run round the boundary whenever our batsmen hit a four. His presence within the playing field was itself an extraordinary mark of the status he had garnered for himself within our island.

This was further underlined when Kumar Sangakkara had the grace and goodwill to visit Percy at his home in commiseration when Percy’s wife passed away (see one of the four photos  numbered 41a-41d in Roberts, Incursions & Excursions in and Around Sri Lankan Cricket, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2011).

Percy was not merely cricketing spice, quip and gusto. Take serious note of this photo: Percy was there with his flag at Katunayake airport in July 1981 when Gamini Dissanayake returned to the island after he had secured Sri Lanka’s entry into the ICC top ranks.

YES: an iconic photograph capturing two momentous figures in our cricket history at a significant political turning point… July 1981


PERCY in his Early Days 

… with Sachin Tendulkar … &  … seeing an opposing batsman into the pavilion (?)…






 …. and mixing with England cricket fans







…. and ushering bowling hero Rumesh Ratnayake into the pavilion






So … it was in the vicinity of the boundary ropes and in front of cricketing fans that Percy expressed himself — in repartee, gesture and high-jinks … always accompanied by the national FLAG









Percy ranged far and wide …. and his ebullience provided him with the license to jest with the famous as well as visiting damsels  
















Percy with Barbadian crcket-lover, the late Joe Hoad in Galle  














PERCY has his well-earned cake …. and may even eat the mouth-watering delicacy
















ercy with Indian cricketers today….


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2 responses to “Pissu Percy is Not RIP …. Hodi Heleyi Heleyiaaaahhhh

  1. Nihal De Alwis

    Percy was an interesting character , and talented in entertaining the crowds at a match but had a lot of wit and an excellent sense of humour. Not only was he an OLD BOY OF ST.ALOYSIUS College, but he claimed he was at RICHMOND COLLEGE for a few years and I enrolled him as a member of the RIchmond 60 Club of which I was Secretary, as we checked and found his name in the College Records. Sad that none replaced him! He must be entertaining those in heaven now! He is safe in God’s hands!

  2. EMAIL COMMENT from Prasanna Mendis, 10 September 2023:
    “Superbly interesting article Mike. So relieved he’s still with us. Really enjoyed one day in his company once. That’s where I feel I ran into Derrick Jordan andJohnny de Silva. Think Upali Mahanama (Roshan’s dad) made a nice speech on that occasion.”

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