Arigho, John Edward (‘Jack’) (1907–99), rugby player, was born 10 July 1907 in 21 Victoria St., Dublin, second son of George Arigho and Mary Arigho (née Greene). Arigho's grandfather had emigrated to Ireland from Switzerland in the mid nineteenth century and had founded a printing business which specialised in religious material. John was educated in Dublin at Holy Faith convent, the Coombe; Blackrock College; Belvedere College; and Castleknock College, first coming to prominence in rugby when he helped Belvedere to beat Castleknock in the Schools Cup in 1924. The following year he attended Castleknock and played at centre in the Leinster schools inter-provincial side. He joined the Lansdowne club in 1925 and became part of one of the greatest Irish club sides of all time, winning the Leinster Senior Cup five times in succession in 1927–31, and again in 1933. They also won the Bateman Cup (contested by the winners of the four provincial cup competitions) three times in a row (1929–31). He captained the side in 1935/6.
Originally a centre, he developed into a flying winger after the arrival at Lansdowne of Morgan Crowe in 1928. He played nine times for Leinster, making his debut in 1927 at the age of 20, and the following year, after impressing in two international trial matches, he made his debut for Ireland, scoring two tries as Ireland beat France 12–8 in Belfast. In his next international he again scored a try as Ireland went down 6–7 to England. He missed the Scotland match due to injury, but returned to score another two tries as Ireland defeated Wales 13–10 in Cardiff. His five tries that championship season is an Irish record for the amateur era, a feat all the more remarkable when one considers that he only played in three of the four games. In 1931 he was one of an all-Lansdowne three-quarter line – along with Morgan Crowe, Eugene Davy (qv), and Ned Lightfoot – that played for Ireland against Scotland, Wales, and South Africa. He played sixteen times for Ireland before being, in some people's opinion, prematurely discarded by the Irish selectors after an appearance against South Africa in 1931. He scored six tries in all, his last coming against Scotland in 1929, when the huge crowd attending the game spilled over into the dead-ball area and prevented him from touching the ball down near the posts. As a result the conversion was missed and Ireland went on to lose the game, and the championship. He was considered for selection in the centre against England in 1932 and was a substitute against Scotland in 1934. In 1934 he fell ‘seriously ill’ (Times, 19 Nov. 1934) and missed most of that season, and he finally retired at the end of 1935/6. One of his finest individual performances was against Wales in 1931 in a 15–3 defeat at Belfast when, after moving to centre during the game, he tormented the Welsh (who won three and drew one of their four matches that season) with his mazy running, suffering only from a lack of support from those around him. In his international career he was on the winning side in three of his four appearances against England, and won twice against France, once against Wales, and twice against Scotland. In 1928, his debut year, Ireland shared the championship with England.
Small and wiry in physique, Arigho was a speedy and incisive winger with a terrific swerve and good handling skills; he also tackled strongly and kicked well. Always a joker, he was a very popular figure, and in later years was involved with the Lansdowne club at various levels. In 1990 he was honoured with the Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame award. After the failure of the family printing business in the 1950s, Arigho became a sales representative for various printing firms. The writer for many years of a lively and entertaining rugby column for the Sunday Press, he remained keenly interested in rugby right up until his death. He died 29 November 1999 at the age of 92 and was buried in Deansgrange cemetery. He married (1934) Eileen (‘Babs’) Lamb; they had three children.