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Ice hockey lost one of true legends, and outstanding players, with the passing of Joe McIntosh.
The defenceman, who enjoyed an outstanding career, mentored a generation a young players and beyond, died on Wednesday, July 8 at the age of 87.
His playing days spanned 25 years, but the friendships he made during it endured for a lifetime.
He was an integral part of Fife Flyers’ multi-trophy winning teams of the 1960s, and a member of the Grand Slam team of 1976-77 – but that is just part of his story and his legacy.
Joe won honours with five different clubs, played in Europe, gained GB honours, and competed in the world championships.
Born in Grangemouth, he was one of a group of players who were given a chance to skate during the sport’s brief tenure in Falkirk – and one of several who went on make a permanent mark on the ice pad.
Joe was born on September 29,1932, and attended Grangemouth High school before lacing up his skates for the first time at the old Falkirk ice Rink, aged just nine.
His skating abilities caught the eye of the coaches, and he played through the junior ranks before making his senior debut with Falkirk Lions in season 1952-53.
BY 1954 he had won his first silverware – the Anderson Trophy, Scottish Play-Off Winners – and took his skates to Switzerland to become player-coach of Crans-sur-Sierre. He was the team’s only import, and led them to the championship.
With the season completed he returned to Scotland and iced with Murrayfield Royals for the closing weeks of the 1954-55 British League.
His next port of call could have been Nottingham Panthers. The club offered him a spot after the sport collapsed north of the border, but, he had just started working as a plumber. He was subsequently as stevedore at the plant, at Grangemouth Docks, and later moved to Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran before retiring.
He made guest appearances for various clubs before kick-starting his career at the start of the 1960s, icing with the all-conquering Murrayfield Royals, and then Altrincham Aces before joining Fife for the 1963-64 campaign.
He became a key part of a hugely successful team led by Ian ‘Eeny’ Forbes and gained a host of All-Star team selections.
By 1969-70 he was player-coach and was further decorated in the post-season awards.
Joe then spent two seasons with Ayr Bruins, before re-uniting with Forbes at Dundee Rockets for the 1972-73 campaign which yielded the Northern League title.
It was entirely fitting that he then hung up his skates – at the age of 44 – on the highest possible note as part of Flyers’ Grand Slam team of 1976-77.
His influence, skill and remarkable fitness levels, led to a host of Scottish and national honours.
He represented GB at four world championships and also coached the national side, and holds the record for being the oldest forward or defenceman ever to have appeared for GB in international competition when he iced in the 1973 world championships at the age of 40 years and 161 days.
After his coaching days he drifted out of the sport, and moved to Kirkcaldy where he met and married Betty, who ran the office at Kirkcaldy Ice Rink for many years.
Joe was inducted into British Ice Hockey’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Read a full profile of Joe here: