Ronnie Used to Say He Was the Luckiest Man Alive.We Were Luckier to Have Him; RONNIE MCINTOSH 1950-2013 We Salute Astonishing Spirit of a Great Scot

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), January 6, 2013 | Go to article overview

Ronnie Used to Say He Was the Luckiest Man Alive.We Were Luckier to Have Him; RONNIE MCINTOSH 1950-2013 We Salute Astonishing Spirit of a Great Scot


Byline: Gordon Waddell ??Chief Sports Feature Write

There are people you meet in life who make you realise that when you think you've done enough, you haven't even started.

Ronnie McIntosh was that kind of guy - the most indomitable spirit I've ever come across in sport, or any other walk of life.

A man who took every duff card thrown at him and still made you believe he had been dealt a winning hand. A man who both humbled and inspired you in the same split second.

A man for whom the words can't or won't simply didn't exist.

Ronnie, winner of the 2011 Disabled Athlete of the Year at the Sunday Mail and sportscotland Sports Awards, passed away on Thursday night at the age of 62.

The hole that news will have left in the hearts of anyone who met him, in his home city of Dundee and far beyond, will take a long time to fill.

As a marathon runner, he was a stalwart for his beloved Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, right up to the point when kidney failure twice took him to the brink of death.

Then he was almost battered to death by a drug addict armed with a golf club and in 2008 he had to have both his legs amputated.

His turning point came with a kidney transplant in 2009 - though he then ignored medical advice and got back to training as a racewalker, his defiant, competitive streak seeing him go on to set a world record. But as he stood on stage 13 months ago to collect his Sunday Mail award, he admitted that deep down, he still harboured a dream of running again.

He told the crowd: "Just a 10k, not a marathon or anything."

There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The problem was his prosthetics weren't up to the job. He needed a pair of specialist sports limbs, but that cost was never going to be met by the NHS.

Anyone else would have thought of himself, done sponsorship, fundraising, the whole nine yards. Ronnie went out and did all that, raising thousands - before giving it away to other charities he thought were more worthy.

That night, when he got up to accept the award his selfless dedication had earned, a dozen top football managers sat with their jaws on the table listening to a guy who was living proof there was no fight which couldn't be overcome and won. …

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