Former Dallas Tornado great Mike Renshaw dies at the age of 72

Mike Renshaw, who starred for the Dallas Tornado in the early days of the North American Soccer League, has died at the age of 72.

Renshaw learned about the Tornado when he saw a help wanted ad in the Liverpool Echo for players to go on its world tour in 1967-68.

The Tornado played 48 games in 25 countries, beginning in Europe and traveling to North Africa and Asia before finishing up in Tahiti. The tour took place during a period of turmoil around the world, including South Vietnam, where they played three games during the war, less than two months before the Tet Offensive.

In October 1967, a Cyprus Airways flight the Dallas delegation was supposed to take from Athens, Greece, to Nicosia, Cyprus, was blown up in mid-air after an explosive device was detonated in the cabin by terrorists. The Tornado were visiting the Acropolis and missed the flight. Of the 18 touring players -- 17 foreigners and St. Louis product Jay Moore -- only Brian Harvey and Renshaw played more than one season for the Tornado.

Renshaw spent nine seasons in the NASL, all with the Tornado, and scored the winning goal in the third game of the 1971 NASL final against the Atlanta Chiefs for the Tornado's only championship. He was a second-team all-NASL pick in 1970.

Owned by Lamar Hunt, the Tornado was instrumental in popularizing soccer in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Its coach in the early 1970s was Ron Newman, and Renshaw's teammates included fellow Englishmen John Best, Ken Cooper, Dick Hall, Roy Turner and Bobby Moffat.

In 1973, Renshaw was called up for the U.S. national team's tour of Bermuda and Europe. When he returned home, he was detained by immigration because his work visa had expired. The USSF had not checked to confirm he was a U.S. citizen.

Renshaw was later a Tornado assistant coach and served as head coach for the first part of the 1981 season, its last in the NASL. Renshaw later worked as a color commentator on MISL broadcasts and coached the Episcopal School of Dallas, a Texas private school girls soccer powerhouse.
1 comment about "Former Dallas Tornado great Mike Renshaw dies at the age of 72".
  1. Wallace Wade, February 18, 2021 at 9:45 a.m.

    RIP Coach

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