Terry and Marion McIntyre have been happily married for 35 years. They're very proud of their two adult sons, Bill McIntyre and Bob McIntyre.

A heart for struggling kids
Terry McIntyre found himself through football and he's helping others do the same

By Laverne Stewart

Terry McIntyre says his life is like a Hollywood B movie, but his story truly is inspirational and proof that no matter how bad things are, you can rise above it and have a happy life.

Nothing about his start in life indicated that he would have a chance at success.

"My father was an alcoholic; a street drunk who used to stand on the corner and beg for change. My mother left him but didn't take me with her. To top it off, they got divorced and he got remarried and the woman had a kid of her own and she didn't want me around."

By the time he was in his early teens, things started to change for the better. He moved in with his paternal grandparents. It was a safe haven and a place where he could go to sleep at night knowing he wouldn't be subjected to the violence that can come with alcoholic rages.

But still the emotional wounds left deep scars.

"You grow up with a whole bunch of negativity in your mind and you start to think somehow this is all your fault."

McIntyre shares this sad story, not in an effort to receive sympathy, but to explain that his difficult childhood helped shape the man he is today.

He was determined to make a better life for himself. He became very focused on school because he knew a good education was the passport to a better world, and a better life.

When he was 13, some of the neighbourhood kids encouraged him to try out for football. He might not have been great at other sports, he recalls, but he discovered that he was very good at football.

"Because I had enough anger inside of me to explode a volcano, I would go out there and just whack people and get praised for it. (Football) was a beacon in a world of darkness. It was a self-esteem builder at a point in my life that I really needed something."

He graduated from Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro with the third-highest marks in his class and then started a science degree at Dalhousie University. He did well but decided this wasn't the program or the place for him. He went to see his high school guidance counselor that summer, who was an alumnus of Mount Allison University.

"He made some phone calls and he got me a scholarship."

McIntyre tried out for the Mount Allison Mounties football team and for the next four years he was back on the field. It was a great time in his life.

He graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting. Later that week, he married his girlfriend.

He met Marion Rach at a class meeting in 1974. It was Sadie Hawkins week on campus and she decided to ask him out.

"By the end of that date, I knew that this was the girl for me. For her, the cup is always three-quarters full, while mine's usually three-quarters empty. She is always a ray of sunshine. They say opposites attract."

So far, they have celebrated 35 years of married life together. He notes that his father-in-law liked him very much.

"I was number one with him. He had three daughters. I was his favourite son-in-law. He was always there; a good, steady guy."

McIntyre's first job was with an accounting firm in Saint John where he obtained a Chartered Accountant designation. He was no longer playing football but he knew he needed some form of exercise, so he took up long distance running.

Eventually, he participated in 16 marathons, including the one in Boston. He still runs three times a week. It helps him to blow off steam. McIntyre describes his personality as that of a smoldering volcano that could explode if he didn't vent it and running gives him that outlet.

"My wife, every once in a while, will say 'Why don't you go for a run?'"

He and his wife moved to Fredericton 30 years ago after he took a job with Irving and he was transferred here in 1980.

Life became even more busy when he became a father to two sons. Bill McIntyre, now, 26, is a doctor who's doing his residency in Kingston, Ont. Bob McIntyre, 22, is working for the Irving Group in Moncton.

He's very proud of both of his sons. He says he has done more things right than he has done wrong where his kids are concerned.

When his oldest son turned 11, he took him to register to play football. He stayed that night to help fit kids with gear, then he volunteered to be the team's manager. By the middle of the season he was the team's head coach and then ended up on the local football association's executive.

McIntyre has been involved in the local football scene ever since. In 1995, there were about 110 children in the program and now there are over 900 boys and girls playing local football.

Anyone who is familiar with local football knows this man. For so many years, he has dedicated his time and energy to helping with this sport. His sons are grown but he is still involved in kids' football. Why?

He becomes very emotional, choking back tears, as he says how much it means to him to see kids who remind him very much of himself when he was young.

He was pulled out of the darkness and into a better life thanks to the opportunity that this sport provides. He knows this is the case with some of the children he works with, too.

"I know of at least half a dozen occasions where kids would be in jail or dead," he says.

"For me (football) came at a point in my life where I needed something badly, but I didn't know what it was. There have been a lot of those kids come through the system. At times, when I find it frustrating, I think of that and it puts the problems you have in running a volunteer organization into perspective. It's making a difference in enough lives that it keeps me going."

McIntyre is the treasurer of the Capital Area Minor Football Association and the treasurer of Football New Brunswick, but he is also the go-to guy whenever anyone needs some advice about how to deal with situations as they arise.

For the past 21 years, he has worked for L&A Metalworks Inc. as its comptroller. He can be found here morning, afternoon or night, depending on what's happening at this company which produces fabricated metal products for the environmental industry. He works when he has to and rests when he can, and this sometimes leads to erratic hours.

"It's an interesting business. I've experienced every emotion that there is working here other than boredom. Being in a business like this, you have to be on your toes."

When he and his wife have time to relax and enjoy themselves, there's nothing they like better than to jump in their camper van and drive to national parks in this region and Maine, where they like to camp and hike.

"The tougher the hike, the better."

In about five years, he says, he sees himself retired and traveling the world with his wife.

Life is good. He is happy. If you don't believe happily-ever-after stories are real, all you have to do is think of McIntyre and his life.


>> Full name: William Terry McIntyre
>> Birthday: May 5
>> Favourite food: Trout with his wife's sweet potato oven fries
>> Favourite music: Hard rock with a great guitar riff
>> Favourite book: The Lord of the Rings by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
>> Favourite movie: Rocky
>> Favourite movie snack: Potato chips
>> Do you prefer phone or email: Email
>> Favourite place you've visited so far: Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
>> The person you'd most like to meet, living or dead: Hannibal (a Carthaginian military commander and tactician who is credited as one of the most talented commanders in history)
>> Characteristic you most admire in people: Kindness

A few words from those who know him well:
     Terry has been my best friend and the love of my life pretty much since our first date on Jan. 24, 1974. A shared belief in the premise that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well is the cornerstone of the foundation of our relationship.
      This, of course, means that anything that Terry commits to, he dedicates the time and effort required to make it a success.
      We have been happily married for almost 35 years and think that we have done well raising our two boys, of whom we are very proud.
       Terry is modest and not extremely comfortable being the centre of attention. However, there is no question that he has made the capital area a better place to live through his contribution to football.
        Those that know him, know that he is kind, hardworking, committed, loyal, knowledgeable and has a good sense of humour; he especially loves to tease. From time-to-time he does get grumpy but all the other endearing characteristics make the grumpiness easy to forgive.
        I am thankful to Terry for supporting my interests and endeavours over the years and truly consider him to be number one on my list of life's blessings.
Marion McIntyre
Terry McIntyre's wife
      My dad has always been available to me through my ups and downs., to lend an ear and offer advice whether I ask for it or not. I'm blessed to have , in a father and a role model, a loving man who embodies the human characteristics of hard work, self-sacrifice and community service that are so critical to my performance in my training as a physician.
      However, behind the busy, hardworking guy is a playful spirit that reminds me to never take anything too seriously and never to argue with a fool. As I continue to grow as a person and a member of the community, I try to do so following the lead of the light-hearted and benevolent man that is my father.
William F. McIntyre, B. Sc., MD
Terry McIntyre's son
       Terry is one of the most generous people that I know. His heart is huge. He is one of those people that you could ask for anything and he will do it for you. He does everything possible to make football available to anyone that wants to play.
Tanya Kitchen
McIntyre's friend and colleague through volunteering
        I have never met a man so generous of heart when it comes to making sure that every child has a chance to play a sport and be part of a team, regardless of skill and financial ability.
        He is an action-oriented person who believes that every problem has a solution and his energy, dedication and enthusiasm has attracted many like-minded people.
        He is never one to sit on the laurels of the standards of the previous season but he is always looking for ways to reach more potential players, find more playing time for committed players and make the upcoming season better. His boundless energy is infectious.
Michele Coleman
McIntyre's friend and neighbour
       When I think about Terry, two words immediately come to mind: football and obsession. At first consideration, most people might think of someone with a football obsession as one of those beer-swilling, body-painted fanatics who are mindlessly possessed by the game. That is decidedly not Terry. Let's begin with the obsession part. Terry is obsessed with the belief that character development, particularly self-esteem, is best developed through team sport.
      He is obsessed with the belief that every child deserves a chance to play regardless of family resources or raw talent. He is obsessed with the notion that there should  and could be a spot on any team for any kind of child. Terry dove into CAMFA and helped to build it into the organization it is today. I can say without a doubt that Terry is the most passionate volunteer I have seen. He tirelessly continues to contribute, whether it be through back room organization, coaching or refereeing. He is truly an amazing guy.
Dane Coleman
McIntyre's friend and neighbour