Mike Renshaw

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Mike Renshaw

Appearances: 1 Goals: 0

Date / Year of birth: 28th April 1948

Position: Winger

Season of first appearance: 1968/69

Season of last appearance: 1968/69

Also played for: Blackpool (0), Dallas Tornado (USA) and Rhyl (Wales)

Manchester-born player who was on the books of Blackpool as a youngster and played for the club's youth team. Mike later went to the USA where he played for Dallas Tornado under former Margate player Keith 'Spud' Spurgeon.

Towards the end of 1968 the National American Soccer League (NASL) folded, temporarily as it turned out, and in December 1968 Mike returned to the UK. He joined Margate on trial along with his Dallas team-mate Brian Harvey who was the brother of Everton player (and later manager) Colin Harvey. The move was arranged by Keith Spurgeon. Mike made his debut on the right wing in a Southern League Cup tie against Ashford at Hartsdown on 23.12.68 but it was his only appearance for Margate and he was released the very next day, along with Harvey. Mike then returned home to Manchester. The local newspapers reported that was due to the club being unable to find him a job locally but in 2004 Mike himself said that he "had an absolutely terrible game" in the 1-0 defeat.

After leaving Margate Mike joined Rhyl in the Welsh League, again along with Harvey, and stayed with them until the end of the 1968/69 season. By that time the NASL had restarted and Mike returned to the USA, rejoining Dallas where he played until 1975.

In 1970 Mike was chosen for the NASL 'All-Star' second team after making 23 appearances for Dallas, scoring five goals and being credited with five assists. In 1971 and 1972 he gained an 'honourable mention' when the all-star selections were made. His record for 1971 was 23 appearances, three goals and eight assists as Tornado won the NASL championship. Former Margate player Bob Moffat was also in the Tornado side. During the 1972 season Mike made 14 appearances, scored five goals and made three assists.

Mike also played six games for the USA national team before FIFA discovered that he was actually ineligible due to being a British citizen. He won two full caps against Poland and Bermuda in March 1973 and also played in four other matches that didn't count as 'full' internationals. They included a game against Lazio in Rome and matches against Germany and Poland Under-23's.

Knee problems forced Mike to retire in 1976 after he'd made over 120 appearances for Dallas but in 1977 he returned to the club as assistant to head coach (manager) Al Miller. Mike replaced Miller as the Tornado's head coach for the 1981 NASL campaign but he was sacked during the season in the midst of a 16 match losing streak.

He was still living in Dallas in 2004, a year in which Manchester United signed young American striker Kenny Cooper after Mike had recommended him. At that time Mike was in the antique furniture business, sourcing fine English furniture in North Texas for a London-based dealer.

In August 2005 Mike provided some more information about his unusual international career on the 'Big Soccer Board' website. He wrote "a bit disappointing that I'm only officially credited with two caps as I actually played six times (missed the game in Belgium due to a turned ankle) but as the other four were against Poland U23's (in Warsaw), Germany U23's (in Duisburg), Lazio (in Rome) and some Italian Serie B team the USSFA (as it was then) didn't count them as "full" internationals. Funny as hell though that I was selected, I guess they never bothered to check if I was eligible. It was only when the paperwork caught up with FIFA that the USSFA found out, although they might have started to get a clue when, upon returning to the States, resplendent in my USSFA blazer and having represented the USA, the INS detained me for three hours.....as my visa had expired."

Asked if he realised he wasn't actually eligible for the USA Mike said "of course I knew, I just figured 'what the hell, I guess they know what they're doing'. I LOVED playing for the USA."











1968/69 (MFC)

1 (75)