February 5, 2023

Once a Puma Always a Puma


By Chris Elliott

In trying to give some publicity to the PUMAS series of rugby matches against the UNIQUE NOMADS in Alsancak, I came across a very sad but heart warming story of true friendship and team spirit.

I met by chance last weekend, Cenk Govsa one of the PUMAS team members who told me that despite an injury he intended to play in last weekend’s match as a tribute to one of his friends, Nedim İlkay Demirtaş a PUMAS member who had been tragically killed recently in a motor accident.

At the start of last weekend’s match the Pumas squad came onto the field carrying a banner and held a minute’s silence with the UNIQUE NOMADS in memory of their friend before the start of the match. The banner said:


Once a Puma, Always a Puma

Always in our Heart

Nedim İlkay Demirtaş


Nedim İlkay Demirtaş – Once a Puma always a Puma

İlkay, as he was known to his friends, would have been so proud of his teammates as they performed in true PUMAS style winning the match 42 to 21 to the UNIQUE NOMADS. There will be a return match on the 18th November which no doubt will be as exciting as the previous match.

As Cenk said following the game, ” we had a great game and  I even got to score a try for my old friend. That made my day and I’m sure it would have put a smile on his face as he was looking down on us”.

I would like to thank our friends from the CESV – Civil Emergency Services Volunteers who were on duty at the match and treated players for minor injuries and kindly agreed for their pictures taken at the match to be published with this article.



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