Thyl ‘Kuki’ Luyckx (1969-2006)

We were shocked to find out that Thyl ‘Kuki’ Luyckx died on the night of 14-15th of October. Thyl was a big part of (Beach) Ultimate in Europe. He helped organize, and was a passenger on, the Magic Bus that went from the World Championships Grass Ultimate in Finland to the World Championships Beach Ultimate in Portugal in 2004. There he played for the German Master’s team and was a big help to the organizers. He visited many other Beach Ultimate tournaments and was always fun to have around. His death is a loss to us all and we wish his family and friends strength in coping with his loss.

(Thyl is the one to the left of the baby in pink)


From Mattias Ahlgren
Dear friends of Kuki
As for all of us – it was a true shock last night when I found out about Kukis death.
Kuki was not the greatest of ultimare players. But for me, with +20 years in the game, it is hard to think of anyone else who embodied the true nature of the game as Kuki did. The spirit, the smiles, the friendliness… Always available, always ready to encourage. Always believing in the spirit of the game.
As TD of WCU I hosted Kuki and his All Stars 4 times, but I only got the chance to play with Kuki once – in Hamburg 2004 – and it is still one of the finest experiances for me as a player. I had a great time. The result? Who cares – we had a blast! But Kuki ended the tournament in the finest possible way – with game winning Callahan. By that proving that speed and adrenaline is over rated in Ultimate. Standing still and being hit by the disc is sometimes equally effective.
WCU and Kuki were, and will stay, closely linked. Love at first sight – from both sides. Kuki returned 4 times: never to win a game, but never to lose the respect of the opponents. We will honor Kuki and the presence of the WCU All Stars in the best way we can.
And as Daniel said, Kuki always brought a smile on our face. It is in that tradition we will honor Kuki at WCU07.
/Mattias Ahlgren

  • I am very sad, upset and shocked to learn about Kiki’s death.
    I have played with him in Copenhagen for the past three years and I have met him a few times also at other tournaments.
    I don’t remember not seeing him with a smile on his face and I don’t remember anyone not having a great time when he was around.
    We will all miss him very much.

  • You were a great person, and no matter how long it had been between encounters, you always had a smile and a friendly word for me.
    A truly sad day.
    May your spirit live on.

  • I met Kuki when he and I volunteered as staff at WUGC 2004.
    For me, a visitor to my first international tournament, it wouldn’t have been the same without him.
    I will treasure the memories always.

  • I never played World War-Free ( an ultimate derivation-game) with Thyl, however thinking of his spirit for the discsports when playing this game, as well as discgolf and his passion for the overall events will not be hard recall.
    His self-caught flight in Bilthoven is among the ‘exceptional’ moments I’ve been lucky to have seen in discsports.
    my condolences to Thyl’s family and friends
    World War-Free ( two words)
    Deze ‘discsports’ speelvorm is het leukste om met een grote groep mensen te spelen [this game is best when played with a lot of people, like 30 or 40!] ; twee teams van bijvoorbeeld dertig of veertig spelers. Maar als je genoeg ruimte en genoeg deelnemers hebt, kun je de teams nog groter maken (rekord:375!) . [however when there’s enough room and enough light discs the record is 375 !] Je hebt voor iedere speler een schijf nodig; het beste kun je wat lichtere schijven nemen ( bijvoorbeeld 110 gram jr. DDC schijven of en mini-frisbie ( 15 gram). [Each player begins with light disc.]
    Het veld bestaat uit twee keer twee concentrische cirkels van 3 en 4 meter. [ the field has two concentric circles far apart from each other] De cirkels liggen 60 of 200 meter uit elkaar ( afhankelijk van de ruimte die je beschikbaar hebt en het aantal deelnemers). De binnenste cirkels vormen het doelgebied; beide teams verdedigen een van de doelgebieden. [ the inside circle’s are the goal to be defended by each team]
    Aan het begin van het spel staat ieder team aan de eigen kant van het veld. [ Both teams begin at the beginning near their own goal] Elke speler heeft een schijf in de hand. [ Each player begins with a disc in their hand] Na het beginsignaal gooien alle spelers tegelijk hun schijf in de richting van het doelgebied van het andereteam. [ on a signal ALL the players throw their disc in the driection of the other goal] Daarna mogen de spelers door elkaar, overal over het veld lopen en iedere schijf van de grond oppakken. [ after that players can run all over the field and take any disc off the ground and play, with always the first throw after picking it up from the ground to go in the direction of their own goal] [ je eerstegooi met een schijf van de grond MOAT in de richting vanje eigen doel gaan] of in de lucht onderscheppen en daarna weer verder gooien.
    [ you can also take a disc being thown from the other team being thrown interecepted and right away play it in the direction of the goal they are going to] Het doel van het spel is om zoveel mogelijk schijven in het doelgebied van de tegenstander ( de binnenste cirkel) te krijgen. [ the purpose is to get as many discs in the inside cirlce as possible] Er zijn een paar spelregels [ there are a few rules in addition to playing the disc taking off the ground] :
    – je mag niet lopen met een schijf in je hand [ you are asked not to run with a disc in your hand]
    – je mag maar een schijf tegelijk vast hebben. [ you are asked not to have more than one disc in your hand at any one time,for example you are asked not to intercept a disc, while you have another disc in your hand] Dus als je een schijf in je hand hebt, mag je geen andere schijf oppakken of onderscheppen voordat je de eerste hebt gegooid.
    – je eerste gooi met een schijf van de grond MOAT in de richting van je eigen doel gaan [ as before the first throw of a disc taken from the ground is in the direction of your own goal]
    – Een schijf die in een doelgebied ( een van de binnenste cirkels) mag niet meer worden verplaatst [ any disc thrown in the inside circle is not to be moved, until after the end of the game]
    – Elk team heeft twee doelverdedigers; deze mogen binnen hun eigen doelgebied komen ( tussen de twee cirkels). [ each team can have two players in the path between the inside and outside circle] De overige spelers mogen buiten de cirkels blijven/ De doelverdedigers hebben een grote schijf (bijvoorbeeld een 175gram Ultimate schijf) in hun hand, waarmee ze de aankomende schijven kunnen afweren. { they can have a larger disc in their hand like an Ultimate disc to use is stopping discs from entering the inside circle area] Het spel is afgelopen als in het doelgebied een schijf ( geheel of gedeeltelijk) boven op een andere schijf komt te liggen. [ the game is over when a part or all of a disc is above another disc inside the inside circle] Dan wordt het aantal schijven in ieder doelgebied geteld en het winnende team aangewezen. The winner, besides all the people who are smiling, is the team with the most points by adding 10 points for the WWF throw, and 1 point for each disc in the inside circle.]
    Het aardige van dit spel is, dat het aanvankelijk nogal chaotisch zal verlopen, maar al gauw zullen de teams hun eigen aanvals – en verdegigingsstrategieén gaan bedenken. [ One might find this ultimaye-type game is attractive as it can be quite chaotic before the teams develop their defense and offense notions and begin towork together]

  • Hi everybody,
    Today we said our final goodbyes to Thyl. It’s great to see that he was so loved in the frisbee-scene. We are going to miss him terribly but we feel very supported by all positive reactions. His death was unavoidable; he did not die of suffication, we heard today, but most likely of a heartfailure or anurisme in the brain. To us a big difference.. Thankfully he did not suffer at all and is probably playing a cloud game in the sun right now… Misha (his sister)

  • I played on the WCU All Stars with Kuki and even though we really only knew each other for a few days I counted him a friend and an all-round ultimate hero. When I saw him at another tournament in the UK a couple of years later we talked like no time had passed. I think it is a great tribute that he has so many people who will remember him well.
    Cheers and beers, Kuki!

  • It is with great sadness and shock I hear of the departure of our good friend. Kuki embodied the spirit of ultimate and was one of a kind, he will be truly missed.

  • Dear friends of Thyl. I’m his father and I
    want tell you a little story about the first time he touched a frisbee. We were walking in the Vondelpark (Amsterdam) on a sunday afternoon, he was 13 years old then
    and we passed a group of frisbee-players.
    The disc fell down right before his feet,
    he picked it up, looked at it carefully, looked at one player in particular, and
    trew the disc as a born-frisbee-player.
    He played the game for 24 years..!!!!!
    Tell me please about his kuki-name,
    that is new for me.

  • I met Kuki at many tournaments around Europe, his enthusiasm for the game and the Ultimate lifestyle was second to none.
    I was shocked to hear of his death, the Ultimate community has lost a true exponent of ‘the spirit of the game’.
    My thoughts are with your friends and family.

  • I guess I kind of took for granted that I would meet Kuki 3 or 4 times a year at Ultimate tournaments around Europe, and now I am sad that we won’t share a beer or funny story again. I only played on the same team with him once, in Mallorca 3 years ago, and he lived up to his reputation by missing a whole days’ play by staying in bed recovering from the party 🙂
    I last saw him in Arendonk in May, when he characteristically helped out half my team by packing 6 or 7 of them into his car to save them a 30 minute walk in the rain. We all had a few drinks in the bar later, and a few days afterwards he surprised me by sending an email following up on a few minor Mac-based questions that I’d asked – and immediately forgotten – about. Typical Kuki…
    See you on the great field in the sky one day,

  • like dean (see post above) i volunteered on the Staff at Turku. And like dean, i have to agree, without Kuki there, things just wouldnt have been quite so fun. I didnt know him well, but what i did know of him was great, and i’d always looked forward to bumping into him at some point in the future, maybe at the next Euros or something. Very to sorry to here this sad news.

  • I met Thyl at Bar do Peixe, in 2001. I had the fortune to be in Thyl’s team and he lead the team in a humour and in spirit. He seemed to have the balance right; playing hard and playing fun.
    My condolences to his family and close friends. I will remember him for his smile and the Caiprinhas we shared.

  • A very sad moment indeed.
    Kuki was missed by all last weekend at the Copa Pescadisco in mallorca, a tournament he attended many times. Not the same without him…
    Ian aka Jazz

  • I first met Kuki at Yes But Nau 2001 where he made one of the greatest pulls I’d ever seen. A 100m pull onto a 2nd floor balcony and all for a crate of beer 🙂
    Since then I have bumped into him in various tournaments and always found him to be a happygolucky guy.
    My condolences to his family and friends.
    Catch you in the great pickup game one day,

  • The last time I met Thyl must be between 10 or 15 years ago; more likely towards the latter. Yet, the news of his untimely death hit very hard.
    He played with WAF in Wageningen, I played with Vertigo in Eindhoven; both student teams. Whilst the WAF teams in general were fun to play against, Thyl stood out as a witty and fair player.
    Every time that my good friend Willem and I attended the same tournament or competition day as Thyl, we would go to him and have a chat. He was just a very pleasant person to be around.
    On the field, he was a bit better than I was (at least at the time; I stopped playing quite a while ago), which was a good incitement to try to catch up with him. But you knew he cared more about you than he did about winning.
    To read, then, just a few days before my own 37th birthday, that he was snatched away – just like that – was profoundly shocking.
    What remains is a collection of fond memories, and the spirit he instilled in others. When we are sad, let us remember him for the great person he was, and perhaps it will put a smile back on our faces.
    – Peter

  • I can only agree that kuki truly embodied the spirit we all love ultimate for. Always there when you needed him, always helping out without making a big deal out of it, always full of energy, always friendly.
    The news make me really sad, but I know that he will not be forgotten. We will all remember him with a smile on our face.

  • I also only knew him briefly, from WCBU in Figuera de Foz. But I do remember him well, as one of the friendliest faces, and the first person who’d share a beer with you. He was one of those people who when in their company you’d immediately feel at ease, and there’d never be a dull moment. He will be greatly missed!

  • I played with Kuki numerous times in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and at the WCU on the all stars team. I was very sad to hear about the tragic events, and I will miss him a lot at future tournaments!
    Kuki was a very social person, friendly with everyone. I do have some good memories of all the good times we shared and will never forget his entusiasm and sparkling personality both on and off the field.

  • As everyone else, I was very shocked to hear of Kuki’s death. I did not see him often but took for granted to see him every so often on tournaments. Seeing each other so few made the conversation awkward and slow going every once in a while but his excellent memory (somehow, he always seemed to remember every exact word I’d told him six or seven months before) and his ever smiling face made it so easy to go to him and talk some more. Soon, beer helping, we would feel like we never did spend some months not seeing one another. He was a truly spirited player and an example to all of us, being committed to the sport and the spirit as so few are.
    We will miss you Kuki.

  • I’m Thyl’s father and I want to express my deepest feelings of gratitude for all the
    warmhearted comments on his behalf.
    I’m sure he would be smiling a little bit shy reading all these reactions because of his sudden death…but he would sincerely appreciate it very much.
    I wonder if someone of you could explain me where his name KUKI comes
    about, I have no idea.
    With love to all off you,
    Stevan Luyckx
    Recht Boomssloot 100
    1011 ED Amsterdam
    [email protected]

  • Hi all,
    I’ve known Thyl since 1997 and was fortunate to be one of his best friends from then on (we did live only 500 meters from each other so that made seeing him more than once a year not really a big problem..). He was very enthusiastic about one of the few hobby’s we did not share; frisbee. He was even that enthusiastic that I (a notonious non-sporter) almost joined him for an open hat tournament a few years ago.
    It is good to see that you know and remember Thyl as I did, he was crazy for Ultimate but also for a number of other things and when he talked about any of these he really took you with him.
    Regarding his name, I vaguely remember him mentioning it once, I thought it was a Scandinavian (throwing a lot of countries and lanuagages in one heap but I don’t remember where exactly it came from) word describing him, or it had something to do with Cookie (although I think that was that I thougth at first that you spelled it that way). Anyway, there must be allstar people knowing about the one and only origin of this name..
    I hope you can enjoy the games coming summer and remember Thyl not only during the mathes but also during the parties which, judging by what he told me about the tournaments, were also a very important part of the event for him and all other players!

  • Kuki, our friend, we will miss you on (and off) the frisbee field. We will will always remember your smile and your enthusiasm to play frisbee everywhere.
    When I asked Kuki how he spelt his name, I asked him whether it was the same spelling as “Cookie”. He laughed and explained that when he first started playing frisbee, his style of playing was a little Koo-Kii (different and crazy like) and hence the nickname.
    On behalf on everyone from the Magic Bus, our condolences to Kuki’s friends and family. We will all miss him greatly. Perhaps he is even playing frisbee in the sky…

  • My name is Wayne Chamberlain. I live in Canada and traveled on the Magic Bus with Kuki. I have told the following story many many times since I last saw Kuki. I love this story so I will share with everyone else Kuki touched. I was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks on a bus, train, etc with Kuki…the man could sleep anywhere and usually did. I only knew Kuki to do four things: drink, sleep, play ultimate and smile…Ok and hit on the ladies. 🙂 One afternoon in Barcelona we are on the beach. Kuki is sleeping after his previous nights activities.
    A bunch of us are throwing the disc and someone decided to show off by throwing the disc out over the water, letting the wind blow it back to him and catching it before it touched the ground. We were all impressed by this feat and tried to mimic it. Soon people were bragging about how long they could keep the disc in the air about 6 seconds. Then a knowledgable chap impresses us all by saying the world record is 13.52 seconds. Another guys anxious to prove his knowledge says “No, the world record is 15.21 seconds”. This seem crazy to us. We are all great players (in out minds) and and only manage about 6 seconds. The debate gets louder and louder. All of a sudden, Kuki pulls the hat of his eyes and declares the world record is around 17 seconds and he know because he is the Belgium champion with a time over 13 seconds. No one beleives a word of what Kuki has said…me included. Kuki proceeds to pick up a disc whip it out over the ocean. I looked. Someone just lost a disc I thought. Then Kuki starts running down the beach. I had played a few games with Kuki by this point and running was not his greatest strength. But at that moment he was flying over the sand. BAM!!! 11.xx seconds later Kuki has caught the disc. Everyone was speechless. That was the great play I saw in a month of Ultimate that covered most of Europe. It is by far my favorite story from my trip.
    If any of Kuki’s family is reading this, you have my condolences for your loss. As you can see Kuki did something very few people can claim, he brings smile to the face of everyone who has a memory of him. I would say rest in peace but I don’t think that is Kuki’s stlye.

  • Wow Wayne, what a great story! I can just see it right before my very own eyes. Typical Thyl… A total lack of arrogance, but just the way he is. A down to earth, friendly, enthusiastic guy. And no, I don’t think he is resting in peace.. Probably organizing some Ultimate game in a sunny happy place, high in the sky.
    If you have any pictures of Thyl please email them to me at [email protected].
    Thanks! (sister Misha)

  • Dear Wayne Chamberlain, a great story indeed about Thyl’s style of being himself. Thank you very much for telling it, it makes me cry and laugh at the same time. And the way he started playing frisbee, a little bit koe-kie but full-hearted and he played it for
    24 years ! We miss him !!!
    Stevan Luyckx, Thyl’s father.

  • Unfortunately I just got play one tournament with/against Thyl. I never caught his name, but the two games we played against WCU Allstars 2006 was quite memorable. And Thyl is the only one from the team I clearly remember, so he sure made a positive impact on me. I’m happy that I got the chance to meet him. Any ultimate player passing away is a great loss, but I guess when it’s someone you know, makes it even tougher.
    Condolences goes to his family and friends from the whole STULU team at WCU 2006.
    PS: I might have some pictures on Thyl from WCU 2006, I will look through them and then I’ll send them to Misha. DS

  • Andreas, I am looking forward to the pictures!
    I would like to remember you all of the tribute that is being helt in Copenhagen this spring at the WCU2007. My father and I will be there and would really love to meet as many of you as possible. Your stories have kept us going through these difficult times! More details at and many thanks to Mattias for this initiatif.

  • When I found this bad news I was a little bit shocked and it takes me longer than a minute’s silence. I was almost disappointed that I missed the chances to play with Kuki in Copenhagen 2005 or to met him again on one of the European beach tournaments the last years but even the fact to become acquired with him and to ask the nickname question is pleasure and honor. I could only assent to the other statements. In remembrance of a great person.

  • As a member of the ultimate community myself the past 9 years or so it was unavoidable to meet Kuki, especially as a TD of a BULA tournament (Copa Pescadisco). Life goes on and I saw all sorts of memorial habits from fotos in black on tourneys to sheer drinking for his sake. Which ever he would have fancied, I’m sure he would have organized SOMETHING. That is, if he would not have been asleep because of his permanent travel-frisbee-party lifestyle. I met him at Worlds in Turku, two times in Hamburg at our tourneys, where he managed to sleep in for the party, and of course on the beaches. He was virtually omnipresent. This sad incedent just reminds us how lucky we remaining lot can be to be alive and kicking.
    Cheers, Ed.

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