AFTER receiving one too many blows to the head Murray McIntyre’s sporting career could have been over before it began.
But now, 26 years and almost 35,000 playing hours later, the 43-year-old has achieved the feat of playing his 500th Premier League fixture for Wesley South Perth, which coincided with a 4-3 semi-final win over UWA.
McIntyre said things could have turned out a lot different.
“I actually took it up as a dare from my mum,” he said.
“I didn’t play hockey until I was a teenager. I played footy. I was actually terrible at footy and because I ended up with a good few concussions I had to find a different sport.
“I can’t remember my first game but I remember my first goal.
“I pushed it back about 30mm over the line. Daniel Rayney – who’s in my team now – his father picked me up off the ground saying ‘good isn’t it?’
“And I remember thinking ‘I love this’.”
McIntyre said he felt no different to when he was 30 years old.
“I don’t feel like I’m older and I don’t feel like I play any different,” he said.
“I don’t have to manage injuries and that’s why I’m here, I’ve been really, really lucky.
“I just haven’t stopped. I think I’ve only missed one game in 10 years and that was because Terry Walsh refused to play me due to injury – I could’ve played.”
Over the years McIntyre has enjoyed a hugely successful sporting career which has taken him to play in tournaments across the world in places such as Japan, France and New Zealand.
He also enjoyed winning three Australian Hockey League titles.
Despite the accolades, Murray insists that it’s the teams he has been a part of that have contributed to his greatest memories.
“The biggest highlight is the 30 minutes in the changing room after you win a Grand Final,” he said.
“It’s the last moment you get together with that group in whatever tournament you’re playing and you’ll never get that team back in the same environment.”
With the season now nearly over and a remarkable career already behind him, Murray remains defiant that he has no plans to hand up his boots just yet.