Mike Renshaw played for the Dallas Tornado from 1968-76.
By Michael Lewis
Days after his passing, friends, colleagues and foes continued to give tribute to former Dallas Tornado forward Mike Renshaw.
Renshaw passed away Wednesday. He was 72.
He played for the Dallas Tornado from 1968-76.
“Mike as a wonderful assistant coach for me in Dallas,” said former North American Soccer League head coach Al Miller, who directed the Tornado from 1976-80. “Just recently he told me that when I asked him to be my assistant it was one of the highlights of his pro career.
“When I took over the Dallas Tornado one of my first tasks was to tell Mike our doctors could not pass him to play due to his arthritic knees. They told me if he were to continue, he would end up a cripple for life. I can still see the pain look on his face.”
Miller, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, remembered the last game with Renshaw, who was a Tornado assistant coach in 1980.
“Our last game together was against the Cosmos in the semifinals of the playoffs in New York,” he said. “We defeated the Cosmos, 3-0, only to lose in a mini-game following. It was obviously one of our greatest victories working together.”
Rochester Lancers captain and defender Charlie Mitchell had some titanic tussle with Renshaw back in the day.
“RIP Mike,” he wrote on Facebook. “We got to know each other well as I marked him in the longest game in history, Lancers vs. Tornado My thoughts go out to his family 🙏 ”
The Lancers and Tornado played a 176-minute game during the 1971 NASL semifinals that Rochester prevailed a minute to midnight, 2-1, on Carlos Metidieri’s goal.
Renshaw became a successful girls high school coach. “They won a lot of championships together and he was loved by both the players and their parents,” Miller said.
Leon Hayle played for the Woodrow Wilson High School boys soccer team from 1971-73.
“None of our coaches knew anything about soccer, so the school enlisted Mike … to help coach us,” he wrote on Facebook. “Woodrow was the first public school in Dallas to have a soccer team. The Catholic [private] schools already had them. He was a wonderful man and sparked my love for the sport, which I still watch today. He’ll be truly missed.”