Former Trinidad and Tobago World Youth Cup goalkeeper and Joe Public coach Michael McComie passed away this evening at the Mt Hope Medical Centre, barely 24 hours after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
McComie was 46 years old.
According to sources, McComie complained of a severe headache yesterday and was taken to the hospital by his brother where he was diagnosed. Medical staff allegedly suggested that the location of the tumour made the chances of a successful operation virtually impossible and he was believed to have received treatment to ease the swelling instead.
His decline from that point was rapid.
A flamboyant goalkeeper in his hey-day, McComie came to national attention in the late 1980s with a talented St Augustine Secondary team led by gifted attacker, Jerren Nixon.
Always talkative, McComie was renowned for playing almost as a sweeper and, long before goalkeepers were expected to be handy with their feet, he was good enough to play in midfield or upfront on occasion at domestic level.
His remarkable reflexes and cocky personality caught the attention of Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team coach Bertille St Clair and, when the two island republic made its debut at a FIFA tournament in the Portugal 1991 World Youth Cup, McComie started in goal for their opening group match.
Trinidad and Tobago lost 2-0 to an Australia team that had future Aston Villa and Manchester United employee Mark Bosnich in goal. Dwight Yorke and Angus Eve also featured in that Trinidad and Tobago squad while Clayton Ince was on the substitutes bench.
As a senior player, McComie made just seven national caps as he found his path to international fame blocked by an array of talented goalkeepers including Shaka Hislop, Ross Russell, Kelvin Jack and Ince.
However, he distinguished himself in the Pro League where he once cost San Juan Jabloteh a five-figure sum to prise him from rivals Joe Public. He went on to be a Pro League Coach of the Year at Joe Public while his last recognised posting was at FC Maracas for the 2016 season.
Apart from football, McComie was a ranked local table tennis player and served recently on the board of the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association.
He left behind four daughters while his nephew, Mikhail McComie, led Fatima College’s goal scorers this season with seven items.