HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Mervyn Frederick MCINTOSH
|Date of Birth||25th November 1922|
GAMES: 241: Perth 217; WA 24
HONOURS: Sandover Medal 1948, 53-54: Simpson Medal 1952 (WA & SA), 1953 (Australian carnival), 1955 (grand final); Tassie Medal 1953; All-Australian 1953; Perth fairest and best 1946-50, 52, 54.
Perth supporters still talk about the day “Big Mac” carved his name into football folklore. It was the 1955 grand final and the Redlegs pulled off one of football’s greatest comebacks to down hot favourite East Fremantle. Perth’s first flag in 48 years was inspired by the giant ruckman Merv McIntosh in his last game.
McIntosh had already stamped himself as one of the greats of the game but saved himself for a farewell performance that had to be seen to be believed. East Fremantle had a 34 point lead in blustery conditions at half-time but with an inspirational McIntosh on the ball, Perth clawed back to within two points at the last change. Kicking into the teeth of a strong wind and McIntosh playing like a man possessed, Perth hit the front and held Old Easts at bay to win 11.11 (77) to 11.9(75). In the desperate closing stages, McIntosh kept the ball in the dead pocket. “I got the ball in that pocket and we kept knocking it out-of-bounds for about five minutes and we got away with it.” He said. McIntosh had 45 hit-outs and 24 possessions against East Fremantle champion Jack Clarke. McIntosh grew up in Cannington, where his father owned a garage, and made his debut in 1939 for two kicks and two goals.
He joined the infantry for World War II and didn’t return to Perth until New Year’s Day 1946. “He left Perth a boy and returned a giant of a man”, an observer recalled after he won his first fairest and best. It was the birth of an amazing career