FORMER national football team goalkeeper and youth team coach Michael “Mike” McComie was remembered as a caring and supportive father by his daughters, Myca-Lee and Neleh, during his funeral service at the Holy Cross Chapel, Calvary Hill, Arima yesterday.
Hundreds of people, including friends and members of the football fraternity, turned up at the venue to remember the 46-year-old McComie, who died at the Mt Hope Hospital last Tuesday from a brain tumour.
In the eulogy, Myca-Lee, his eldest daughter, mentioned, “He was the epitome of what a father should be – loving, caring, funny and, most of all, very supportive.
“Most of you would know Michael McComie was a coach, a footballer and a tennis player,” she added. “But to his children, he was our number one cheerleader. He supported his daughters in whatever sport they showed interest in (but) my father was always a stickler for discipline and academics.”
Neleh, his third daughter, recalled, “You were like my personal super-hero. Even though football was your favourite, you supported me in everything I wanted to do.”
Also offering tributes to McComie were his former club and national teammates (Under-17 and Under-20) coach Russell Latapy and Anton Corneal, the TTFA technical director.
Latapy spoke on behalf of his close friend Dwight Yorke who is abroad and could not attend the funeral. Yorke was the captain of the TT team, in which McComie was a member, at the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championships in Portugal.
“I knew him as a colleague, a teammate and, above all, as a friend,” Yorke wrote. “Michael had a spirit of resilience and good humour that would see him be able to connect to people in a strong and lasting way. This is his legacy.”
McComie, the father of four daughters (including Laura-Lee and Gabrielle) was cremated at the Belgroves Funeral Home in Tacarigua.
Yorke reminisced on their battles at the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) level – Yorke with Signal Hill and McComie with St Augustine in the 1980s – before they became teammates on the TT youth team, under coach Bertille St Clair.
The ex-TT captain added, “He had a strong, no-nonsense character. Mike stood for what he believed in and he wasn’t afraid to speak out when needed.
“Mike developed himself into someone who could make a valuable contribution after his playing days and it’s devastating that he will not be there to continue those contributions.”
Corneal chimed in, “He has carved a niche and a mark on most of us here that would never be forgotten."
Among those in attendance were TTFA president David John-Williams and his predecessor Raymond Tim Kee, Anthony “Hess” Alexander (McComie's manager at the 1991 Youth Championships), Alvin Corneal, Joseph Sam Phillip, Clayton Morris and his former teammates Travis Mulraine, Angus Eve, Ansil Elcock, Arnold Dwarika, Densill Theobald, Hutson Charles, Derek King, Brent Sancho, Stern John, Reynold Carrington, Dennis Lawrence, Ross Russell, Earl Jean and Kendall Velox.