Arthur McCabe

Arthur John Michael "Mackker" McCabe (23 June 1887 – 30 July 1924) was an Australian rugby union and pioneer professional rugby league footballer.

Arthur McCabe
Birth nameArthur John Michael McCabe[1]
Date of birth(1887-06-23)23 June 1887[1][1]
Place of birthTamworth, New South Wales [1]
Date of death30 July 1924(1924-07-30) (aged 37) [1]
Place of deathRedfern, New South Wales
Rugby league career
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1910-14 South Sydney Rabbitohs 65 (144)
State of Origin
Years Team Apps (Points)
1910 New South Wales 2 (12)
Rugby union career
Position(s) fly-half[1]

He represented for Australian in rugby union at the 1908 Summer Olympics.

Rugby union careerEdit

1908 Olympic Gold Final Wallabies v Cornwall.

A brilliant fly-half, Mackker McCabe was a member of the Australian rugby union team which won the gold medal with McCabe scoring two tries in the gold medal victory.

While he toured the US and England with the Wallabies in the lead-up tour prior to the Olympics his gold medal match was his sole Australian representative appearance.

Middle row far left, with the 1908 Wallaby tour squad

Rugby league careerEdit

On his return to Australia he joined the fledgling code of rugby league along with 13 of his Olympic teammates. He played for five seasons with the South Sydney Rabbitohs finishing his career with a premiership win in 1914. Despite representing for New South Wales in rugby league in 1910 he was unsuccessful in his bid to become a dual-code rugby international.

For the season 1910, he was the NSW Rugby Football League's top try scorer. He was so highly praised by the press, they dubbed him The Will-O'-The-Wisp, a phrase that became synonymous with McCabe.[2]


Arthur McCabe died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Morehead Street, Redfern on 30 July 1924, age 37.[3] A large funeral was held for 'Mackker' McCabe and was attended by many ex Wallaby players and South Sydney players. He was buried at Rookwood Cemetery on 31 July 1924.[4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g " player profile of Arthur McCabe". Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  2. ^ The Arrow: Will O The Wisp- 01/08/1924
  3. ^ Sydney Morning Herald: Death Notice -31/07/1924
  4. ^ Sydney Morning Herald Funeral details 31/07/1924
  5. ^ The Arrow, Sydney 01/08/1924 "Arthur McCabe's Death" - "Brilliant Wallaby Five-Eighth" (page 10)


  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League, Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney

External linksEdit