Marc Arcuri was a seemingly healthy 15-year old boy when he took the field for Austral FC on 19 July, 2014. Marc collapsed during the match, suffering sudden cardiac illness. A nurse performed CPR on Marc during the 30 minutes they waited for the ambulance, but he could not be revived.
A few months later, Marc’s family and friends organised a small six-a-side football tournament at Francesco Crescent Reserve, Bella Vista with the aim of raising enough money to purchase a defibrillator for Austral FC. Throughout the day $6,500 was raised – enabling the purchase of three defibrillators.
Since then, the Marc Arcuri Foundation was formed and the annual Marc Arcuri Cup has exploded in popularity. What began as a small competition among 12 men’s teams is now a two-day festival of football at Marconi Stadium, with the last tournament featuring 32 men’s teams, 12 women’s teams and 8 boys teams. Over the three Cup events, more than $96,000 has been raised and more than 50 defibrillators have been delivered to community football clubs across the state in partnership with the Royal Life Saving Society of NSW.
In April 2018, one of those defibrillators was used to revive 64-year-old Ian Rae, who suffered a heart attack while playing for West Pymble. Two cardiologists confirmed that Ian would not have survived if a defibrillator was not present.