Former Warriors and Kiwis coach Brian "Bluey" McClennan has opened up about the "worrying" search for his father, missing from a dementia home since Wednesday.

Mike McClennan, 75, himself a former international league coach and Kiwis fullback, was reported unaccounted for from the Milton Court Rest Home on Milton Rd, Orewa on Wednesday, sparking a massive search effort.

He was last spotted about 5pm that day walking north on the Hibiscus Coast Highway, wearing a red and black cardigan and blue jeans.

Brian McClennan told the Herald it was a worrying time for the family.


"We are hanging in there, but we are really worried about him. He is really sick, and gets confused very easily, which is why he needs to be in a secure place."

Mike McClennan, 75, was last seen in Orewa on Wednesday, wearing a red and black cardigan and blue jeans. Photo / Supplied
Mike McClennan, 75, was last seen in Orewa on Wednesday, wearing a red and black cardigan and blue jeans. Photo / Supplied

CCTV footage on Wednesday showed his father heading north from Orewa.

"We think he may have got a ride heading north, so have been searching north of there. We are just appealing for anybody who may have seen him north of Orewa."

His father's dementia had developed over the past four to five years, and he was now at a stage where he needed to be in care, Brian said.

"He is a good, kind man, but very confused. His favourite place to go back to is the city, Maidstone St in Grey Lynn, where he grew up - in his mind he is still there, and Fowlds Park where he coached a lot of rugby league."

McClennan said they were committed to finding him.

"My daughter and I are just about to head back out now. We really appreciate all of the support we have had from the community, family, friends, the rugby league community, and the police have been awesome. We know everyone out there is trying really hard.

"We just hope somebody from the public runs into him, and calls police."


Senior Sergeant Brett Henshaw, Rodney Police, said police resumed their search this morning.

"Along with search and rescue ground staff, police have also conducted aerial searches over the past two days with the Police Eagle Helicopter."

Former kiwi rugby league player Mike McClennan went missing yesterday in Hatfield Beach ,Orewa he is still missing please spread the word #rugbyleaguefamily

Posted by Sir Peter Charles Leitch on Thursday, 17 October 2019

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

"We continue to appeal to the public for any information regarding possible sightings, including asking motorists to check their dash-cam footage if they travelled between Silverdale and Warkworth – particularly through the Hibiscus Coast Highway area - on Wednesday evening.

"I want to thank those members of the public who have contacted police with information about reported sightings and we have been reviewing this information.

"We also ask residents in the Hatfields Beach area to make sure they have checked their backyards and surrounds of their house in case they locate any items which may assist our search."

There is also a suggestion that the pensioner may have been picked up by a member of the public, in a vehicle, who does not realise he has dementia.

Sir Peter "Mad Butcher'' Leitch took to social media late last night calling on the community to spread the word about the missing man.

He dubbed the McClennans as his "rugby league family'' and posted a photo of a screenshot of a missing persons poster for Mike McClennan.

Granddaughter Katie McClennan has also been actively calling on the public to spread the word and keep an eye out for her missing grandfather, who she calls "Da''.

The teenager took to social media sharing heartfelt messages and photos of her granddad.

"Another day and [you're] still missing. Come home, Da.

"If you have seen Da from Wednesday onwards contact police,'' she wrote on her Instagram page.

Anyone with information about Mike McClennan's whereabouts is urged to contact police immediately on 111. Anyone with information which could assist the search should phone 105. .