It was the eternal misfortune of inside forward Jimmy McIntosh to have a career defined by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The young Scot was a prodigy on the wing at Blackpool in the mid-1930s and signed up by Preston while still a teenager. But then war cruelly intervened and cut the bulk of his twenties – a time when he should have been lining up alongside such luminaries as Tom Finney and Bill Shankly at Deepdale. He returned to Blackpool after the war, now playing as a centre forward alongside Stanley Matthews. However he was dropped for the 1948 FA Cup final and joined Everton for £5,500 in March 1949. But again it was a bad time, and Everton were in one of the darkest periods of their history.
Indeed the threat of relegation haunted Goodison at this time. ‘Everton are also in the vortex and it may be that we shall not know the members of the relegation fight until the very last day,’ recorded the match programme when they visited Sheffield United. ‘This has been a very difficult season for Everton.’ Yet McIntosh’s goals helped elevate Everton above the mire. There were crucial strikes in 1-1 draws with Sunderland and Stoke, as well as an effort on his debut against his former club Blackpool, a 5-0 hammering. Most crucially he and Eddie Wainwright scored a goal apiece against title contenders Manchester United with two games to go. The victory according to Liverpool Echo correspondent Stork: ‘lifted the relegation clouds so that, with the tension eased, Everton can go into their last two matches with easier minds.’
Everton’s escape was a temporary reprieve. They would squeak past relegation again the next season before succumbing in 1950/51. Through this succession of on pitch disasters, McIntosh never quite seemed to settle and was subject of repeated interest by lower league clubs. After winning just four of their opening 20 league games in 1949/50 McIntosh was dropped and seemed set to move to Wrexham for £3,750 but the deal fell through. He scored eleven goals from 29 games in the relegation season, but it wasn’t nearly enough. At the end of that campaign he was sold to Distillery for £1,500. He was later their manager, also serving Glentoran and Ballymena United as boss.