Finn Kobbero

Finn Kobbero
Denmark
Born: 13 March, 1936 Died: 21 January, 2009

Finn Kobberø dominated the world badminton scene in the 1950s and 1960s. With his 15 All England titles in both men's and mixed doubles, the Dane rightfully earned his reputation as one of the best men's doubles players ever. On top of his successes at the All England, Kobberø also won prestigious tournaments in men's singles such as the Danish and US Opens. To this date, his 15 All England titles make him the fifth most successful player in the tournament’s history. His play was characterised by masterful drop-shots and deception. He particularly excelled as a front court player with his partner, Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen, and as a mid-court stroke specialist with Ulla Strand in men's and mixed doubles respectively. Kobberø was tall, handsome and tricky. He was known to prefer social activities to training and relied on his natural talent to take him to the top. His outgoing personality made him a crowd favorite and a respected opponent within the players’ community.In the latter part of his life, he worked as a journalist for Danmarks Radio. Finn Kobberø was inducted into the IBF Hall of Fame in 1997. The Danish legend passed away on January 21st, 2009.

Before reigning on the world badminton scene from 1955 to 1966, Finn Kobberø was a precocious Danish champion. He started winning Danish junior titles as early as 1951. He took the U-16 crown in 1951 and the U-18 crowns in 1953 and 1954. He went on to win more than 22 senior national titles, 4 of which in men's singles, 9 in men's doubles and as rest in mixed doubles with 5 different partners.

The Danish giant’s talent quickly spilled over to the international scene when the All England was by far the most prestigious international title in the sport. At that tournament, he won 15 titles with 4 different partners. In men's doubles, he won 6 titles with hard-hitting Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen and 1 with Poul-Erik Nielsen. In mixed doubles, he shared 4 of his titles with Kirsten Thorndahl and as many with Ulla Rasmussen (who later changed her name to Strand). To this date, with his 15 titles in both doubles events, he is the fifth most successful player in All England history and the most successful Danish player in the history of the tournament.

Despite his expertise in doubles, Finn Kobberø also reached the All England final in men's singles 3 times but never succeeded to add the title to his collection. Many blamed his disdain of training for his failure to win the coveted trophy. He nevertheless managed to win singles titles at the Danish and US Opens.

He represented Denmark 42 times in international competitions. His outstanding record in Thomas Cup events translates into 55 wins in 64 matches. He namely played a major role at the 1955 Thomas Cup, in which he helped Denmark reach the final against then Malaya. Denmark went on to lose 1-8 but he and Hansen were the only ones to snatch a victory against the Asians in the one-sided 9-game match.

One of the finest stroke players to have graced the badminton court according to his contemporaries, he was a master of deception and feints. With only the use of his racket skills, Finn Kobberø had the uncanny ability to win rallies in 1 or 2 shots.

Handsome and a character both on and off the court, the bearded giant won the heart of the crowds at Wembley Arena and everywhere else he appeared. His friendship with the great Eddy Choong, who dreaded to play against the Dane, was honored when the Malaysian legend named his first son, Finn Choong, after him.

After his distinguished playing career, he remained a part of the sporting world. He became a journalist, and worked mostly as a television and radio commentator for Danmarks Radio.

Finn Kobberø received the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Distinguished Service Award in 1986 and became one of first players to become a member of the BWF Hall of Fame in 1977. To underline his fruitful career, he was also awarded the Badminton Denmark Meritorious Award by the Danish federation.

Finn Kobberø passed away on January 21st, 2009. He was survived by his wife Lise-Lotte.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

1986 – IBF Distinguished Service Award

1997 – IBF Hall of Fame

Badminton Danmarks fortjensttegn (Badminton Denmark Meritorious Award)

BIBLIOGRAPHY & REFERENCES

All England 2010 Official Programme

Badminton.dk

Badmintonmania.com

Danmarks Badminton Forbund gennem 75 år (DBF)

Dr Oon Chong Teik: Shuttlecock and Stethoscope

Erland Kops

Guinness Book of Badminton (Pat Davis)

L’univers du badminton avec Yves Paré (François Béliveau)

Torsten Berg

Wikipedia.org

  -- By Yves Lacroix

  • INTERNATIONAL TITLES AND ACHIEVEMENTS (in order by year)
  • 1955 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1955 All England (Mixed Doubles with Kirsten Thorndahl)
  • 1956 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1956 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1956 World Invitation Tournament (Mixed Doubles with Marjory Forrester)
  • 1957 All England (Mixed Doubles with Kirsten Thorndahl)
  • 1957 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1958 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1960 All England (Men’s Doubles with Poul-Erik Nielsen)
  • 1960 All England (Mixed Doubles with Kirsten Granlund)
  • 1960 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Singles)
  • 1960 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Doubles with Poul-Erik Nielsen)
  • 1961 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1962 All England (Mixed Doubles with Kirsten Granlund)
  • 1962 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1962 All England (Mixed Doubles with Ulla Rasmussen)
  • 1962 World Invitation Tournament (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1963 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1963 All England (Mixed Doubles with Ulla Rasmussen)
  • 1964 All England (Men’s Doubles with Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen)
  • 1965 All England (Mixed Doubles with Ulla Strand)
  • 1966 All England (Mixed Doubles with Ulla Strand)
  • INTERNATIONAL TEAM EVENT TITLES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
  • 1955 Thomas Cup Finalist (Played for Denmark)
  • 1963 Thomas Cup Finalist (Played for Denmark)
Finn kobero - 1958 picture by drummond young Action shot of finn kobbero - ibf handbook 1956-57 Finn kobbero - solo shot - bg may 1966 Finn kobbero close up - bg apr-may 1960 Finn kobbero (r) and jh hansen - 4th all england md title - bg may 1962 Finn kobbero + mrs strand outright winners of mixed trophies at all england - bg may 1966 Top xd pair finn kobbero + kirsten thorndahl - bg apr-may 1960