It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved President, Harold Kirkwood. Harold passed away Thursday evening following the O40 Intra United match – a match that fittingly was won by Intra, the club that Harold has managed for years. Harold would have been 80 years old in August.
As many of you know, Harold was inducted into the Michigan Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2008. Harold became involved in soccer in 1976 when his son’s coach quit, and he volunteered to work with the young players. Two years later, he helped start the Ferndale Soccer Club. He also worked with Michigan Youth Soccer League (MYSL) coaches to form a league of adult players from northern Detroit suburbs. This league became the Michigan United Soccer League (MUSL). As an MYSL representative to the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association, he was instrumental in the creation of the Wolverine Invitational Soccer Tournament, a premier youth tournament that included international youth teams. So many MUSL players competed in the Wolverine as youths, and we owe those experiences to Harold!
After starting the varsity soccer program at Shrine of the Little Flower, Mr. Kirkwood initiated the boys’ and girls’ soccer programs at Berkley High School and coached 1982-89. He then coached Oakland University’s women’s club soccer from 1991-94, after which, it was elevated to varsity status.
Harold earned his National “C” coaching license and was a licensed referee from 1986-90. His interest in broadcasting resulted in his producing cable television programs of MSA competitions, the Detroit Rockers, and the U.S. Men’s National team in a match against Russia. He produced his program, “The Soccer Circuit”, with Community Media Network under Comcast Cable.
Having served as the MUSL representative on the MSA Board from 2000-02, Mr. Kirkwood was elected Vice President of the MSA and has also served as Director of Coaching. In 2006, he was instrumental in the affiliation of the Mundo Liga, a Hispanic league in Southwest Detroit. After many years as the Vice President of the MUSL, Harold was elected the President of the MUSL in 2019. Harold was also the Director of Coaching for the Michigan Soccer Association.
Harold’s contributions to soccer cannot be measured. He was the force behind the success that the MUSL has become. He will be greatly missed by everyone who he has interacted with at all levels of the game. We miss him already.
Please show your respect for Harold before the kickoffs of games on Sunday June 5th, Monday June 6th, Wednesday June 8th, and Thursday June 9th by honoring our great President with a moment of silence at midfield.
Funeral arrangements will be at AJ Desmond and Sons located at 32515 Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak. The phone number is 248.549.0500. You can also look for a posted obituary at: https://www.desmondfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Harold-Jaye-Kirkwood-?obId=25055219#/obituaryInfo
Saturday, June 11th
Viewing 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Service 5:30 - 7:30 pm
AJ Desmond and Sons Funeral Homes
32515 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073