Ruben Kogeldans

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Ruben Kogeldans
Ruben kogeldans.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-01-04)4 January 1967
Place of birth Venlo, Netherlands
Date of death 7 June 1989(1989-06-07) (aged 22)
Place of death Zanderij Airport, Paramaribo, Suriname
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
????–???? VVV-Venlo ? (?)
????–1989 Willem II Tilburg 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ruben Kogeldans (4 January 1967 in Venlo – 7 June 1989 in Paramaribo) was a Dutch-Surinamese footballer. During his career he served VVV-Venlo and Willem II Tilburg. He died at the age of 22, when on 7 June 1989 he was killed in the Surinam Airways Flight PY764 air crash in Paramaribo. His father, Leo was also a footballer and played for the Suriname national football team. One of his passions off the pitch were the drums.

With his father as his idol Kogeldans was determined to succeed as a professional footballer. He was talented and was able to sign his first professional contract with VVV-Venlo. Media and fans were not convinced of his qualities and he received a lot of criticism from the media, but every time he was able to response with his feet. He was a strong defender with a lot of professional discipline in both the matches as on the training pitch. Among the Willem II fans he was a popular player and his status was still growing.

Kogeldans left VVV-Venlo and moved to Willem II Tilburg. Here he was no key player, but was occasionally used in their line-ups in which he performed well and again was able to response on criticism with his efforts on the pitch. He was invited by Sonny Hasnoe, the founder of the Colourful 11 to be part of the team and travel to Suriname to play in the "Boxel Kleurrijk Tournament" with three Surinamese teams. The Surinam Airways Flight PY764 crashed during approach to Paramaribo-Zanderij International Airport, killing 176 of the 187 on board, including Kogeldans, making it the worst ever aviation disaster in Suriname's history. Among the dead were a total of 15 members of the Colourful 11, only three of them survived.

Ruben's parents still are in a process against the Surinam Airways. Due to the mistakes made at the company they were not satisfied with the fact that they blamed the crew for their mistakes that caused the disaster.