This season we have been reflecting on 10 Years at Oteley Road - to celebrate this we will be bringing you an exclusive interview with a player from the last decade. Today it is Kevin McIntyre!
Tonight’s game is arguably the biggest Play-Off game that Shrewsbury Town have been involved in since the day that Kevin McIntyre scored to help take the club to Wembley.
McIntyre scored just five goals in his 127 Town appearances, but none were more important than that 88th minute strike against Bury.
That goal made him a name that is etched into the club’s history and Town Talk caught up with McIntyre to get his memories of his three-and-a-half year spell at the Meadow.
“It was a massive club and it was amazing for me”, Kevin told Town Talk.
“No disrespect to Macclesfield but coming from Macclesfield to Shrewsbury was huge. The stadium’s amazing, the training facilities are amazing, and the Chairman was brilliant as well, so it’s geared up for Championship football really.
“I’m not sure whether I’d played in the new stadium before I signed, but I’d seen it and it was brilliant. It was a big club for me and it was a privilege to play for someone like that.”
McIntyre had been brought to the club by Gary Peters, but just three months after his arrival Peters was replaced by Paul Simpson and Kevin remembers the changes he brought in.
“I think anyone who says they aren’t worried about a new manager coming in are lying”, McIntyre said.
“It gave me a kick up the backside to try even harder to try and get a place in the team. Fortunately for me, Simmo seemed to like me and I was always in his plans.
“We had a great team spirit. Holty was almost doing it on his own at times and he obviously got the big move to Norwich, but to play with the likes of him was brilliant.
“Paul Murray, Graham Coughlan, these were big, experienced players that had played at higher levels, so it was just a shame that we couldn’t get the job done because it was all set for us.”
Town had started the 2007/08 campaign on fire, but in the end it took victory on the final day away at Dagenham and Redbridge to secure a Play-Off spot. In those Play-Offs Town faced Bury and it was in the second-leg that McIntyre’s most memorable moment in a Town shirt came.
“To score in the second-leg was unbelievable, that was probably the highlight of my career”, Kevin admitted.
“To be fair to Bury they battered us at times and Luke Daniels was outstanding. Lesbo (Steve Leslie) got sent-off and you are thinking ‘Oh no!’, but as it went on I just sensed, and I think as a group of players we sensed, that it might just be our day. Then it went to penalties and Luke Daniels was brilliant throughout it, it was just amazing.
“I still watch the goal I scored that day now and it gives me goosebumps. It was even sweeter because I had just come back from a broken leg and I had missed four months of the season so to score was amazing and no one can ever take that feeling away from me.
“That’s probably the best moment in football for me. It’s the most important goal and the best feeling I’ve ever had in the game. Then you had the fans and they were fantastic, they were awesome, and my family were in the crowd as well, it was just amazing.”
That victory at Gigg Lane meant that Town would travel to Wembley to take on Gillingham, however it didn’t go well on the day and Kevin admits that it was hard to take.
“It wasn’t even a corner!”, proclaimed McIntyre.
“Simeon Jackson obviously scored and I can just remember the noise of their fans when the goal went in. The roar, wow!”
“I was just gutted because in the Semi-Final I’d obviously scored in the 88th minute and it was amazing, and then you’ve got the other end of it where you are conceding a last minute goal and you know it’s all over then.
“Having said that, we didn’t play well on the day. I can’t really say why. I don’t know whether the occasion got to us, but I just think we weren’t very good.
“It was just a shame really because the fans always came out in massive numbers. I just hope, if they do get there this season that they can get that win that they deserve and give the fans something to cheer about.”
That summer Town lost Grant Holt to Norwich and it appeared to have a big impact on the side as they only managed a 12th place finish in League Two.
“We had that disappointment of not going up, things started slowly and it just didn’t happen that next season”, Kevin continued.
“I was back playing but we didn’t achieve anything and it wasn’t good enough. With the players that we had and the squad that we had, we should have been competing and we weren’t.
“I think we not only let ourselves down, but the manager too and inevitably it didn’t work out for him, and Graham Turner came along.”
Kevin signed a new deal prior to the start of the 2010/11 campaign, but it proved to be a frustrating final season at the Meadow for the Liverpudlian.
“I started the season and got sent-off on the first day of the season against Bradford, and I was out of the side then for ages”, McIntyre said.
“I managed to get back in, but then he brought some more players in in the January window and I was just on the bench and on the fringe of things.
“I got on great with Graham Turner, he was a great fella and I had nothing but praise for him, it was just that sometimes you don’t play, sometimes you do.
“It was sad to leave but I have amazing memories. I remember playing Shrewsbury the season after when I was playing for Accrington Stanley and they gave me a massive standing ovation at the end of the game, which was brilliant.”