Joe McIntosh was an outstanding Scottish defenceman whose playing career spanned 25 years, including five World Championships as player or coach.
He won major honours with five different clubs, starting with Falkirk Lions’ play-off triumph in 1953-54 and ending with Fife Flyers’ Grand Slam season of 1976-77. Along the way, he was part of two other title winners, Edinburgh Royals and Dundee Rockets.
Joe started skating when he was nine-years-old at the Falkirk rink near his home in Grangemouth and took up hockey four years later. At the age of 20, he was recruited by the senior Lions for the 1952-53 season, making his international debut later in the same campaign when he helped Scotland to two victories over England.
After the Lions’ successful annexation of the Anderson Trophy as Scottish play-off winners in April 1954, he was loaned to Edinburgh Royals to reinforce them for the opening season of the British National League. Instead, he headed to Switzerland for a few outings with lower league side Crans-sur-Sierre.
On completion of the shorter Swiss season, he played a dozen BNL games in Edinburgh, only for pro hockey in Scotland to collapse that summer. For the next seven years he concentrated on his new job in Grangemouth Docks while playing away games for Perth Panthers, Glasgow Flyers and Edinburgh and in Altrincham for the Aces.
The high point of this difficult period for Joe and ice hockey came in 1960-61 when his former Falkirk team-mate Johnny Carlyle was appointed coach of Edinburgh and they made a clean sweep of all the ‘home tournaments’, culminating in a shock defeat of the powerful Brighton Tigers at the end of the campaign.
He eventually settled in 1963-64 with Fife Flyers, whose coach Ian Forbes he had first played for on the Aces. During his first nine seasons in Kirkcaldy, he helped the Flyers to several honours, including the televised BBC Grandstand Trophy, while earning himself four All-Star selections. He was chosen as the All-Star ‘B’ team coach in 1969-70.
After a year with Ayr Bruins, he helped Dundee Rockets to the Northern League title in 1972-73, before returning to Kirkcaldy where he ended his playing career at the age of 44.
Joe was capped 24 times for Great Britain in four World Championships between 1965 and 1973, twice at Pool B level. In a testimony to his fitness and ability, he holds the national team record as their oldest out-player, at 40 years and 161 days, when he was capped in the 1973 World Championships (Pool C) in Holland.
With a reputation as a successful coach of the Scottish national team, he was asked to take charge of GB for a three-nation international tournament in the Netherlands in February 1978. Britain won all four games, leading to his return to the bench in 1979 for Pool C of the World Championships in Barcelona.
Joseph Martin McIntosh was born in Grangemouth, Falkirk, Scotland on 29 September 1932 and died on 8 July 2020. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.