Arthur Marsberg
Full names: Arthur Frederick William Douglas
Date of birth: 24 Sep 1883
Place of birth: Sterkstroom
School: St David’s Marists Brothers
Springbok no: 92
Debut test province: Griqualand West
Physical: 1.83m, 84.4kg
Date of death: 15 Jan 1942 (Age 58)

Test summary: Tests: 3 Tries: 0
First Test: 17 Nov 1906 Age:23 Full Back against Scotland at Hampden Park, Glasgow
Last Test: 8 Dec 1906 Age:23 Left Wing against England at Crystal Palace, London
Test history:
DateAgePositionOpponentResultScoreVenueProv
17 Nov 190623Full BackScotlandLose: 0-6 Hampden Park, GlasgowGriquas
01 Dec 190623Left WingWalesWin: 11-0 St. Helens, SwanseaGriquas
08 Dec 190623Left WingEnglandDraw: 3-3 Crystal Palace, LondonGriquas

Artie Marsberg : Doc Craven

I never saw Marsberg play and am thus obliged to quote again from Billy Millar's reminiscences. Here he writes on the match against Wales in 1906:

"Every son of Wales seemed wound up to get a view of Marsberg. Was this angular man with the ungainly trot the hero who stirred the imagination across the border?"

Marsberg made a great impression in this match. The critics compared him to H. T. Gamblin at his best in regard to his tackling.

He was generally acclaimed as the finest fullback seen for years on the rugby field, and his splendid fielding of a slippery ball in the second half met with unstinted praise. A. G. Hales wrote as follows:

"I have to get back to Marsberg for he made himself pretty near football famous this day. Once, when his goal was in danger, he went for the ball in a lightning-like rush, snapped it up and was off like a wild steer into the bush.

He fairly flew for a few yards and then they came at him. He put all his great strength into the task and went through them or over them like wind through a wheatfield. 'Stop him, stop him,' yelled the crowd, but your fullback was out for the gloves.

"One got the shoulder, another the outstretched arm and hand; round this one he dodged like a Johannesburg debtor doubling round corners to fend off creditors; over the next he bounded, making straight for the English goal line as a wilful woman for the divorce court.

'Stop him!' yelled the crowd again. They might as well have yelled to a politician to practise what he preaches or a lawyer not to lie. It was a splendid rush and stamped the seal on our victory. It was a superb triumph, a victory built up on brains, pluck, stamina and resolution.... Talking of Marsberg, I want to say that I hold I am a bad prophet, but I fear that he will yet be killed on the football field.

How he escapes getting his head kicked off when he flings himself headlong on the ball at the very moment when some giant is swinging his foot to kick is a mystery among mysteries; but he may tempt fate once too often. I hope not, but I fear it."