Former rugby league international Mike McClennan missing for a second night

STUFF
Missing former rugby league player Mike McClennan's son and wife plea for his safe return amidst fears for his health.

A former head coach of New Zealand's rugby league team has vowed to find his 75-year-old father who is facing a third night missing in north Auckland.

Brian McClennan vowed "we will find him today" as the search for dad Mike, who suffers from dementia, continued on Friday, despite reports of possible sightings.

Mike McClennan, himself a two-time New Zealand international league player, went missing on Wednesday from Orewa's Milton Court Rest Home.

It is believed McClennan was wearing a red and black jacket and blue jeans (pictured) when he went missing.
Supplied/Katie McClennan
It is believed McClennan was wearing a red and black jacket and blue jeans (pictured) when he went missing.

"He got admitted into hospital and from there he got sent to the dementia home, where he's only been for some eight to 10 days," Brian McClennan said.

READ MORE:
Police appeal for sightings of missing man Mike McClennan
Family 'scared' for former rugby league international Mike McClennan missing in Orewa

"He think's he's a fugitive, he's confused."

"We will find him today," says Brian McClennan of his missing father, Mike (file photo).
Jason Oxenham
"We will find him today," says Brian McClennan of his missing father, Mike (file photo).

Although smiling over memories of her husband of 60 years' wit, Maureen McClennan said the possibility "to see him end like this is horrible".

She was staying home during the search in case he was to return.

"Come home Michael, we need you," she said through tears.

STUFF
Have you seen missing former rugby league player Mike McClennan?

Mike McClennan was last spotted walking northbound on Hibiscus Coast Hwy about 5pm on Wednesday, and was believed to have been wearing a distinctive black and red striped jacket and blue jeans, a police spokesman said.

"That's how he dresses everyday. He's got two jackets, mum washes one and swaps it over the next day."

Brian McClennan described his father as stubborn and determined, despite being "pretty crook".

McClennan suffered with dementia and may not realise he's lost, his granddaughter Katie McClennan said.
Supplied/Katie McClennan
McClennan suffered with dementia and may not realise he's lost, his granddaughter Katie McClennan said.

"I've seen the CCTV footage from police, he was striding out, he looked like he was on a mission. We just need help. I know he's not going to be well now, he's not going to be very well at all."

The search for Mike McClennan has attracted attention from residents living on the Hibiscus Coast, many of whom have offered to join in, for which Brian McClennan said the family "are very humbled".

"We feel proud to live here".

Police are appealing for sightings of Mike McClennan, who was last seen on Hibiscus Coast Hwy in Orewa about 5pm on Wednesday.
SUPPLIED/NZ POLICE
Police are appealing for sightings of Mike McClennan, who was last seen on Hibiscus Coast Hwy in Orewa about 5pm on Wednesday.

The former Warriors coach told Stuff on Friday that the family was determined to find him.

"Everyone has been brilliant - police, family, friends and our community have all given their time selflessly.

"We will find him today," he said.

"We need our Kiwi brothers and sisters to help us out here."

On Thursday, police requested anyone who travelled between Silverdale and Warkworth on Wednesday between 3pm and 10pm check their dash cam footage for anyone matching Mike McClennan's description.

Police believe he may have been given a ride by a member of the public without realising he had dementia, and requested anyone who saw or picked him up to get in contact by dialling police on 111.

A number of search and rescue personnel had been searching the wider Orewa area, including overhead with the police Eagle helicopter.

"We want to thank the members of the public who have contacted us with information relating to possible sightings of him and police have been assessing this information," police said.

Senior sergeant Brett Henshaw requested Hatfields Beach residents check their backyards and house surroundings and report any items which may assist with the search.

"We critically need to find him," he said, as Mike McClennan had missed several doses of important anxiety medication.

"Our concerns grow with each hour that Mike McClennan remains missing and we desperately want to find him and reunite him with his family."

Of his father, Brian McClennan said: "He's a very kind and sociable man. He's just confused. He just needs some help."

Mike McClennan had connections in Grey Lynn, where he grew up, and Mt Albert, where he coached.

"As he's declined with his dementia, he wants to go back there all the time."

Brian urged anyone who sees him to "just go up and say hello to him".

"If anyone can see him, just contact the police straight away so we can make sure he's safe."

McClennan's granddaughter Katie said he may not know he's lost.

"He's in another decade, he thinks he is not his age. He probably thinks he's going to training or something."

Mike McClennan had gone missing once before about three months ago, but was found quickly.

"If you've seen anything, at any time, it will help us find him," Katie said.

Stuff