Mike Renshaw

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Mike Renshaw
Personal information
Full name Michael Renshaw
Date of birth (1948-04-28) 28 April 1948 (age 67)
Place of birth Manchester, England
Playing position Left Wing
Youth career
Blackpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
-1968 Blackpool 0 (0)
1968 Margate 0 (0)
1968–1969 Rhyl
1968–1976 Dallas Tornado 127 (20)
National team
1973 United States 2 (0)
Teams managed
1978–1981 Dallas Tornado (assistant)
1981 Dallas Tornado

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Michael "Mike" Renshaw (born April 28, 1948 in Manchester, England) is a U.S.-English former football left winger. He began as a youth player with Blackpool F.C. before moving to the United States to join the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League in 1968. He also spent time with Margate F.C. and Rhyl F.C. He earned two caps with the U.S. national team in 1973 despite not being a U.S. citizen at the time. Finally, he coached the Dallas Tornado in 1981.

Playing career[edit]

Renshaw grew up in Manchester before signing with Blackpool F.C. He never cracked the first-team line up but played regularly for the youth team against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton. In 1967 at age 19, he answered a newspaper advertisement looking for top class young players interested in moving to the United States to play professional soccer. He sufficiently impressed Bob Kap at the trial to be offered a position with the Dallas Tornado of the newly established North American Soccer League. That team started pre-season training in Madrid, Spain in August 1967 before embarking on an unprecedented seven month, twenty-nine game world tour visiting over twenty countries. He gained a starting position with the Tornado during the 1968 season. At the end of the season, the league was in danger of collapsing and Renshaw returned to England where he gained a trial with Margate F.C. He played one game, a Southern Football League Cup tie with Ashford F.C. on December 23, 1968, but decided to return to the north of England. He then moved to League of Wales club Rhyl F.C. for the remainder of the 1968–69 season. He returned to the Tornado in the summer of 1969 and remained with it until he retired in 1976. In 1971, the Tornado won the NASL championship over the Atlanta Chiefs. Renshaw scored the winning goal in the third, and deciding, game of the series, the only outdoor professional championship ever won by a Dallas soccer team[1] In 1975 he was in the starting line-up for the Dallas Tornado against the New York Cosmo in Peles' first game for New York (a 2-2 tie) later that season he scored against Peles' Cosmos in a 3-2 Tornado win at Texas Stadium. On a personal level, he was a second team All Star in 1970 and an honorable mention in 1971 and 1972.[2] Renshaw was plagued with bad knees for several years and in 1976, doctors advised him that he could no longer play without risking lifelong damage. He took their advice and stopped playing professionally.

In addition to his outdoor career, Renshaw also played indoor soccer with the Tornado. He scored a hat trick against Philadelphia Atoms in a nationally televised game and was then named to the All Tournament team during the 1975 NASL indoor tournament played at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Renshaw went on to earn an 'A' coaching licence from the United States Soccer Federation, the highest qualification available in the USA.

National team[edit]

In 1973, Renshaw earned two full caps with the U.S. national team when he was called up for a tour of Europe. His first game was a 4-0 loss to Bermuda on March 17, 1973. He came on for Dave Coskunian. His second was a 4-0 loss to Poland three days later.[3] In addition to these two games, he also played four games for the USA against under 23 national teams (Poland and Germany) and club teams, including Lazio in Rome, Italy. The U.S. Soccer Federation had failed to check Renshaw's citizenship before the tour, assuming that he had gained it since he had been in the U.S. for five years. They discovered that he was neither a U.S. citizen and was in the country with an expired work visa when the team went through the immigration check returning from Europe. Years later when asked if he knew he was ineligible to play for the U.S. Renshaw stated, "Of course I knew, I just figures 'what the hell, I guess they know what they're doing'. I LOVED playing for the USA."[4]

Coaching[edit]

In 1977, Tornado coach Al Miller brought Renshaw in as his assistant. In 1980, Miller quit the team and Renshaw was promoted to head coach. Quietly, Lamar Hunt had decided to fold the Tornado at the end of the 1981 season and he was reluctant to spend much money on new acquisitions. The Tornado had also lost two of their best American players, Tony Bellinger and Steve Petcher (three had to be on the field at all time) to the new MISL. (Major Indoor Soccer League) A 3rd American, and the team's leading scorer from the previous season, Njego Pesa held out for a new contract and missed all of pre-season and the start of the regular season. Thus the team was much weakened going into the 1981 season. Renshaw lasted half the season but was fired on July 4, 1980 after the team, having started with two wins in their first three games, failed to win for sixteen straight games. Renshaw remained in the Dallas area, raised a family and became involved in youth soccer. Renshaw earned an "A" level licence from the United States Soccer Federation, the highest licence available in the USA.

Post soccer career[edit]

Renshaw did color commentary, with Norm Hitzges doing play-by-play, for the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League. he and Hitzges were nominated for an ESPY award for the best sports commentary of 1987 for covering the MISL title game on HSE (Home Sports Entertainment) Renshaw co-owns a wine-import business with former Tornado goalkeeper Kenny Cooper, Sr. and continues to have a strong interest in the antique furniture business. Renshaw stays very involved in the development of youth soccer in the North Texas area and coaches at a well known Dallas private school. Mike Renshaw was recently named, in an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, as one of the ten most influential people in North Texas soccer history. He was also mentioned in a Dallas Morning News article as being one of the eleven best all time Dallas Tornado players.

External links[edit]