Highland legend and Scotland cap George Mackie loses battle against cancer

Raw boned No 8 was a key cog in the great Highland team which climbed the leagues to become one of the top clubs in the country in mid-1970s

George Mackie in action for Scotland.
George Mackie in action for Scotland.

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.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1818 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.