Saturday, March 04, 2006

To those great days of thrills and spills
Zacky Deen

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely death of my good friend Zacky, who was residing in Oklahoma U.S.A, a month ago.

We both started motorcycling (racing) together at the Ratmalana air strip. Katukurunda came much later on. His brother Rally who was in England came to Sri Lanka a little later on and the three of us raced together.

In those days, the Saturday morning papers carried the head line in the Sports page: Dean
Brothers and Chandra de Costa to do battle once again.

Those days the circuit was full of spectators, nothing less than 40,000.

I am proud to mention here that Zacky was a great rider and the riders who were selected as the very first team to India in 1956 comprised Zacky Dean, W.D.P. Indraratne, Trim Seneviratne, A.A. Jinadasa and myself. These riders were selected purely on merit and they were managed by the late Andrew P. Mirando often considered the "Father" of the CMCC.(?)
Zacky Dean won the 350CC and the 500CC on his Manx Norton in exemplary fashion to thrill the Bombay crowd. The other riders also brought credit to Sri Lanka in their respective categories. Zacky participated in the Isle of Man (England) in 1953 on his 350 Manx.

After returning from the Isle of Man he used to win almost all the races because he had the distinction of having the only Manx and it was such a powerful machine that the others had no chance.

I was riding a Triumph Tiger 100 and I was always behind him and I was called the Shadow of Zacky. There are plenty of more things I could write about Zacky, But I guess the above speaks volumes for him. I will certainly miss him very much.

May his soul Rest in Peace.

Chandra de Costa (Former All Ceylon and All India Champion)
Sunday Times - June 18 2006

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