Andy Rankin passes aged 79

22/08/2023 31comments  |  Jump to last

Former Everton goalkeeper Andy Rankin, who played for the Blues in the 1960s and early 1970s, has died.

Born in Bootle, Andy made 105 appearances for the Toffees and wrote his name in club folklore when he became the first goalie to save a penalty in a European Cup penalty shootout, against Borussia Moenchengladbach in 1970.

His father Bruce and cousin George also played for Everton in the early 1900s and 1950s respectively.

Andy left Goodison in 1971 to join Watford and eventually retired in 1982.


Reader Comments (31)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 22/08/2023 at 00:17:43
On Grand Old Team, it is via the forums reporting that former Blues Keeper Andy Rankin has passed away in the last day or so. I can't find anything, anywhere else to confirm this news. In case it is misinformation I have the link below to show his value to Watford in the 1970s I'm sure that somebody on ToffeeWeb will know if this story is true - I hope it isn't, however, Andy is in his late 70s so it possibly is true.

Former Everton goalkeeper who was Watford's player of the 1970s

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 22/08/2023 at 09:15:12

Like you, I hope this story isn't true.

Andy was a fine goalkeeper for the Blues and only the fact that Gordon West was such a very good ‘keeper kept Andy from having a top career with the Blues.

He was agile and brave and the link you gave, Barry, shows what a great character and person Andy was as well as being a good goalkeeper.

Until I read your link, I didn't realise he came from a family with strong links to the playing side at Everton, including George Rankin who played left-back for the Blues in the 1950s.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 22/08/2023 at 09:29:31
EFC website confirms Andy's death. He was a couple of years older than me at Bootle Grammar and a good all-round athlete.
Jason Davenport
4 Posted 22/08/2023 at 09:41:44
It's a small world, Brent. I was also at Bootle Grammar at the same time as Andy. I am 78 now.
Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 22/08/2023 at 10:02:30
I hope the club pay respect to him on Saturday.

When these players that you never really saw are mentioned, I had to read up.

First keeper to save a penalty in a European shoot out.

Blue blessings.

Peter Mills
6 Posted 22/08/2023 at 10:20:23
Sad news about Andy Rankin, he was a good goalie and, from all reports, a decent man.

I remember him being Everton's first substitute to be brought on at Goodison, when he replaced the injured Gordon West against Nuremberg in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1965 (only substitute goalies were allowed at the time in that competition).

He featured in the famous 3-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup quarter-final in 1967. There was some grumbling about his performance in that game amongst the senior gentlemen on the coach home, it seemed harsh.

Harry Catterick brought him into the team following Gordon West's dramas at Goodison against Keflavik in the European Cup in 1970, leaving Andy in a position to win the first-ever penalty shootout in the next round against Moenchengladbach. It was an opportunity he seized, literally, with both hands amidst much excitement at the Gwladys Street end.

Condolences to Andy's family and friends, may he rest in peace.

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 22/08/2023 at 14:51:11
Hi Peter,

I would like to add my condolences to Andy Rankin's family,. I was busy moving to Skelmersdale on the day Everton were playing against Nottingham Forest, 8 April 1967, I did intend to go to the game, but it was out of the question.

I was told by a mate that Everton were in control until Joe Baker had to retire injured, the match was turned on its head when Ian Storey Moore took his place at centre-forward, and if I recall correctly scored a hat-trick.

I listened to some who attended the game cursing Rankin, but on watching the TV that evening, I found the criticism unfair. Once again, condolences to Andy's family.

Paul Kossoff
8 Posted 22/08/2023 at 19:34:51
Andy's grandfather, Bruce and his cousin George both played for Everton.

I was at Goodison as a very young lad for the European Cup game on 4 November 1970 when his save gave Everton victory over West German champions Borussia Monchengladbach in what was the first-ever penalty shoot-out in the European Cup. I couldn't watch but my dad said that Everton would win and we did.

God bless Andy.

Ray Roche
9 Posted 22/08/2023 at 20:09:55
I remember when Andy saved the penalty v Borussia the first player to embrace him after the whistle was Gordon West.
Les Callan
10 Posted 22/08/2023 at 20:32:48
Remember him well. Didn’t play an awful lot, but recall him having a cracker at Anfield in 1964. 4 nil to the blues I think. Imagine that.
Gerry Morrison
12 Posted 22/08/2023 at 20:53:36
I was at the game against Borussia Moenchengladbach in 1970. A long time ago, but unforgettable. Sorry to hear the news.
Neville Wellings
13 Posted 22/08/2023 at 21:51:31
Went to both games v Moenchengladbach and after the penalty shoot out at Goodison the crowd spilled out at the end of the match singing "Andy Rankin" down Goodison Road. Also have a vague memory of Andy playing on the wing after injuring his hand at Goodison. RIP
Peter Mills
14 Posted 22/08/2023 at 22:03:14
Neville, I’m glad you wrote that. I have a similar memory of Andy coming back onto the pitch with his arm in a sling and playing on the left wing, but can’t for the life of me remember when.
Barry Hesketh
15 Posted 22/08/2023 at 22:15:48
Peter @14
I dug out some information on that game you can't remember!

Everton were twice near to scoring on the restart. Temple had two shots blocked in quick succession and Everton were playing with a tremendous drive and had Stoke rocking. Stoke fought back well, however, and their best players, Ritchie and Setters, inspired them to recover and gain two corners. After seven minutes of this half Rankin was injured diving to snatch the ball from the feet of Skeels and was helped off the field. He went into the trainer's box and it was difficult to see just what was wrong with him, but it might have been a damaged shoulder. Brown took over in goal. Harris went to full back with Harvey at wing half. Within a couple of minutes in his new role Brown was beaten by a shot from Ritchie which stuck the crossbar and bounced away safely.

After being off for ten minutes Rankin came back with a bandaged on his left forearm. He went to play on the left wing.
A message from the dressing rooms stated that Rankin had fractured a small in his right hand, but this did not prevent him from doing a lot of running and chasing down the left wing.

Stoke 1964

John Raftery
16 Posted 22/08/2023 at 22:22:40
Andy was a good keeper who provided genuine competition with Gordon West for the Number One shirt. I hadn't realised until today he had won an England Under-23 cap.

I was standing in the Street End directly in line with the penalty spot for that 1970 European Cup tie. What a night it was! Morrissey scored with a cross which skidded off the wet turf after 24 seconds.

The rain poured throughout. The Germans, who had a great team, equalised before half-time. There was very little to choose between the two sides.

In the end, it came down to the penalty save by Andy to send us into the quarter final. With a Wembley final in our sights many of us were convinced we would be European Cup winners. What a difference that might have made to the club's standing in Europe. The tie against Panathinaikos was a travesty.

Tom Bowers
17 Posted 22/08/2023 at 23:01:18
Best game ever when he kept net in the 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool at Anfield. R.I.P. Andy.
Brian Denton
18 Posted 22/08/2023 at 23:36:47
I remember the Forest Cup game. Had a good cry over that one.

Andy Rankin was one of the trio of keepers in the colour team photo (possibly from Typhoo Tea?) I had on my bedroom wall as a kid.

The other 'non-Westy' was Geoff Barnett. I don't think he ever made an appearance after I started going to the game (1966) and he went on to Arsenal. I don't know if he did much there.

Andy McGuffog
19 Posted 22/08/2023 at 23:38:11
If I remember correctly, at one time in the late ‘60s, we had one full English international goalkeeper, Gordon West, and 2 under-23s, Andy Rankin and Geoff Barnett.

Now, we don't even have a back-up striker.

Barry Hesketh
20 Posted 23/08/2023 at 00:03:49
Andy @19,

Worse than that, we replaced those 3 keepers with David 'bloody' Lawson!

Although Dai Davies was already at the club, wasn't he?

Ian Jones
21 Posted 23/08/2023 at 00:22:33
Barry, steady on re David Lawson. I feel sure Neil Lawson on ToffeeWeb speaks very highly of him.
Jack Convery
22 Posted 23/08/2023 at 01:39:45
I too remember the penalty save versus the Germans. Wonderful celebrations at the save Andy made. When he stepped up he never let us down.

RIP. My condolences to his family and friends.

Peter Mills
23 Posted 23/08/2023 at 07:57:06
Great detective work, Barry #15 - thanks!
Neville Wellings
24 Posted 23/08/2023 at 09:50:33
Yes thanks, Barry # 15.

I looked at the link... what a forward line then!

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 23/08/2023 at 09:54:58
Barry (15),

The surprising thing about that game, apart from Andy finishing on the left wing, was the attendance, just over 31,000, and we had won the league title the season before.

Re Geoff Barnett, I think he was Everton's ‘keeper when we beat Arsenal to win the FA Youth Cup and Arsenal must have kept him in mind when they bought him off us. We got a very good fee for him as well considering he never played many games for us.

Anthony Dove
26 Posted 23/08/2023 at 10:52:48
I seem to remember he was a police cadet when he joined Everton and there being an incident when he drove a car into a lamp post which didn't do his police career any good.

He was an excellent goalkeeper and was a crowd hero at Watford for many years.

Barry Hesketh
27 Posted 23/08/2023 at 11:56:29
Anthony @25

Andy signed as an amateur for Everton aged 17 in May 1944. He also joined the Liverpool City Police Cadets, leaving after five months when he signed professional forms for Everton.

Anthony Dove
28 Posted 23/08/2023 at 12:10:40
Barry@27. Thanks. I was on the right track.
Andrew Ellams
29 Posted 23/08/2023 at 12:18:46
Barry, Andy was born in May 1944
Barry Hesketh
30 Posted 23/08/2023 at 12:44:56
Sorry about that Andy @29
I only took it from the Watford link I posted earlier in the thread.
Ray Jacques
31 Posted 23/08/2023 at 13:20:04
I remember the Moenchengladbach game as a little lad. My nan and cousin went (it was a night game) and I wasnt allowed. Remember them coming back to the house and we were all dancing around.

I also have a vague memory of a subsequent match day programme that showed photos of each penalty kick from behind the goal in black and white.

Once Andy Rankin and Gordon West finished playing we seemed to struggle for years with goalkeepers. We signed David Lawson from Huddersfield (?) for a record amount and if we had bought Peter Shilton we would probably won one league title in the early 70s and possibly an FA Cup and/or League Cup in 77.

Don Alexander
33 Posted 23/08/2023 at 14:36:42
In the 60's/70's the English league was stuffed with goalies qualified to play for England.

Competition to win a cap was fierce in every position so it speaks volumes that Andy and Westy were so very highly rated. RIP mate!

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