The perfect junior coach
By MITCHELL DALE
A SELFLESS coach and a great teammate.
Coffs United Lions players and officials have paid tribute to Michael King, who collapsed and died while playing for United's over-35s Jaguars side at Coffs Harbour International Stadium last Friday night.
King, 46, left the pitch five minutes before the end of the match when he felt unwell and then collapsed.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at Coffs Harbour Health Campus, leaving behind wife Alice, son Sebastian and daughter Remaliah.
Coffs United club president Paul Israel yesterday spoke of an unassuming and likeable bloke, who also coached the Lionesses Under-14s side, of which Remaliah is a member.
"He was a longtime coach of the junior girls' side, he liked being with the kids and they liked him," Israel said.
"Michael was quiet and unassuming, he never made noises or waves.
"He was the perfect junior coach."
King joined the Jaguars side last year and in a short time he made a strong impression on his teammates.
Jaguars player/manager Steve Allsop described King, a forward, as a great team player.
"He was a good team man, he never complained he just went out there and played and had a drink with us after the game," Allsop said.
"He was very into his family and football and was a handy player up front for us. He will be sadly missed."
Israel said the club was still in shock.
"He was a big man, but he looked after himself, there was no reason for this to happen," he said.
"It is a huge shock for everyone, he was young and very popular. It just shows you can't take anything for granted ... it is so sad."
Holiday Coast Soccer president Jim Graham also joined the chorus of tributes for King.
"He was one of our staff coaches this year for our school development programs," Graham said.
"He was here every Monday coaching the 10-12 year-olds and I know the kids who he imparted his knowledge on will certainly miss him.
"He showed outstanding temperament and ability and will obviously be sorely missed."