FORMER Highland RFC stalwart George Mackie, who won four caps for Scotland between 1975 and 1978 has died after a battle against pancreatic cancer. He was 70-years-old.
The raw-boned and popular No 8, who came to Highland via Montrose, was a key cog in the Inverness side – next to the likes of Stevie Fraser, Gregor McKenzie, Tony Ingle-Finch, Jim Gaffney, Colin High, George Halliday and Davie Aitchison– which fought their way up through the leagues under the inspirational leadership of Nairn McEwan to become one of the leading teams in the country during the mid-1970s.
He toured New Zealand with Scotland in the summer of 1975, abut missed out on the Test match through injury. However, he did not have to wait long for his international bow, which came against Australia that December. Mackie went on to be capped twice during the 1976 Five Nations against France and Wales, then picked up his final cap against France in 1978.
A message on the Highland website this evening explained that –
George had been battling pancreatic cancer and despite that he looked well when he visited Canal Park a few weeks ago. Even though he had limited time it still came as a shock with his sudden death.
George played in the great side of the 1970’s and was the only player to gain Scotland caps while still playing at Highland.