Malcolm Cowie, a teacher at Saint Kentigern College and Honorary Patron of NZ Secondary Schools Football, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack on Saturday October 24.
Universally loved and respected, Cowie was recognised with an MZMN for services to football in the 2019 Honours list following a life dedicated to the sport. The secondary schools football tournament is named after him.
Cowie joined the New Zealand Secondary Schools (NZSS) Football National Executive Committee in 1988 and served as chairman for 18 years. He introduced international tours to secondary schools and created the Under 19 Trans-Tasman Trophy.
He has overseen the significant growth of national schools tournaments and has been instrumental in developing NZSS Football representative programmes at Under 15 and Under 19 levels.
He has coached football at St Kentigern College for 30 years and co-established the West Ham Oceania Academy National Camp in New Zealand.
Cowie was a selector and voluntary coach for the Auckland Football Association for many years.
The NZSS said on social media, “It is with a very heavy heart and with great sadness that we inform our football community of the recent passing of Malcolm Cowie.
“Malcolm Cowie was NZSS Boys Football’s inaugural Life Member. This award was in recognition of Malcolm’s exceptional contribution of over 30 years to the provision of the best possible opportunities in football for secondary school students.
“Under Malcolm’s leadership and as a result of his vision, NZSS Football has achieved significant results both on and off the field.”
“Our sincere condolences go to the family and his school community at Saint Kentigern College. Rest in peace Malcolm, you will be sorely missed.”
Saint Kentigern College posted too. “What made him so admired was that he truly cared about young people. He gave them his time and lots of it. He listened to them and let them know he cared about them. He took them seriously. He knew their names. He let them know how they were doing by sharing his experience with them. And when they did something well, he truly meant the praise he gave them. Malcolm will be missed by all of us.
“Malcolm was a long-serving staff member of the college, joining in 1988. He has contributed significantly in many areas, including physical education, Bruce Housemaster, Dean, sports, attending camps and field centres. He was a highly respected coach and manager, particularly in football, where his leadership contribution was at a national level.
“He has impacted countless young people and his death will touch many staff (past and present), students, Old Collegians and the wider community.”
His funeral was held in the Saint Kentigern Chapel on November 8.