Andy Rankin at Everton


“Andy Rankin can look back on his debut with great satisfaction. Considering his size, I am amazed at the speed with which Andy manages to get down for ground shots.”

Alex Young in the Liverpool Echo & Evening Express, 23rd November 1963

“Andy was agile, he had a good pair of hands and he was not flamboyant or loud, he simply got on with the job. No goalkeeper plays as many games in their career as he did without being a good keeper."

Howard Kendall 2010

Introduction

A ndrew George Rankin was born in Bootle, Lancashire on 11th May 1944 and was the grandson of Bruce.

1961-62 Season

Andy signed for Everton as an amateur in May 1961 when he was 17 years old. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Liverpool City Police Cadets as Cadet 114, leaving five months later when he signed professional forms for Everton.

Andy started off in the Reserves appearing in a Lancashire Senior cup-tie game at Rochdale on Wednesday, 25th October 1961, which Rochdale won with a goal just 30 seconds before the final whistle. He played in almost every Reserve game during the remainder of the season, receiving some excellent reviews in the local sporting pages.

Andy was probably rather surprised and disappointed in March 1962 to learn that Everton had signed Blackpool's keeper, Gordon West, who was only a few months older than him. West was soon drafted into the first team at the expense of the regular keeper, Albert Dunlop. It was Dunlop, however, not Andy, who deputised for West when he was unable to play.

1962-63 Season

Andy shared the goalkeeping duties in the Reserves with Albert Dunlop that season. However, when West badly injured his shoulder against Arsenal in April, Dunlop stepped in for the remaining four League games. Everton won the League for the first time since the war. West played a key role, helping Everton to have the best defensive record by far that season.

1963-64 Season

Andy started off in the Reserves again. Albert Dunlop left Everton during the first week of November for Wrexham so it was Andy who got his chance in the first team two weeks later when Gordon West was dropped. The Everton team against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground was:

Rankin; Parker, Meagan; Harris, Labone, Kay; Scott, Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple.

Forest might have been a couple of goals in front within the first half-hour, but only fine goalkeeping by Andy prevented them from taking the lead. But, completely against the run of play, Everton went ahead after 39 minutes and scored a second five minutes after the interval. However, Forest netted twice in the last 10 minutes when Everton were down to ten men, one of whom was a passenger on the right wing.

In his weekly column in the Liverpool Echo the following Saturday, Alex Young wrote that Andy Rankin could "look back on his debut with great satisfaction. Considering his size, I am amazed at the speed with which Andy manages to get down for ground shots."

Andy kept his place for the home fixture against Stoke on Saturday, 23rd November, which Everton won 2-0.

He was included in the team for the midweek game against Rangers, the Scottish League champions, at Ibrox, in the first leg of the "unofficial" British championship. Everton were three up before the interval, Rangers scored a consolation goal late in the second half following an error by Andy. Despite that error, Andy had had an outstanding game, including a penalty save, so much so that, after the match, the Rangers' chairman told the Liverpool Echo reporter, "If this is Everton's reserve goalkeeper, do us a favour on Monday by playing your first team man."

Everton and Wolves drew 0-0 at Molyneux on Saturday, 30th November. Andy was injured making one save, but was able to resume after treatment.

The second-leg of the unofficial British Championship was played at Goodison Park on Monday, 2nd December. It ended in a 1-1 draw, which gave the "title" of British champions to Everton with an aggregate score of 4-2. Just as in the first game, Andy's goalkeeping performance broke the hearts of the Rangers' players and fans.

On the Saturday, Everton were held to another 1-1 draw, this time by Chelsea. However, they were thrashed 6-0 in their next game by Arsenal at Highbury on Tuesday, 10th December. Horace Yates, the Liverpool Echo reporter, thought that Andy was not to blame for the score.

After a 2-2 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage on the Saturday, Everton faced Manchester United at Goodison Park the following week in a match that was billed as a "Champions v Cup-Winners clash". The teams were:

Everton: Rankin; Brown, Meagan; Gabriel, Heslop, Harris; Scott, Stevens, Young, Vernon, Temple.

Manchester United: Gaskell; Dunne, Cantwell; Crerand, Foulkes, Setters; Muir, Moore, Sadler, Herd, Charlton.

After a goalless first half, Everton scored four times to gain revenge for their 5-1 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

Everton were now 5th in the League, four points behind leaders Blackburn. Liverpool were two points ahead of Everton having played a game fewer.

Andy played in both defeats to Leicester over the Christmas period - a 2-0 defeat away on Boxing Day and a 3-0 defeat at home on Saturday, 28th December. These defeats saw Everton slip to 10th in the League, whilst Liverpool remained third.

Everton's first game in the New Year was a 1-1 draw away to Third Division Hull in the Third Round of the FA Cup. According to the report in the Liverpool Echo on Monday, 6th January, only Temple, Scott and Andy performed well.

Everton were 1-0 down at the interval in the replay the following Tuesday, but two goals in the second half secured a Fourth Round trip to Leeds.

Everton faced Burnley in the League at Turf Moor on the Saturday with Andy again in goal. Burnley were two goals ahead by the interval, but Everton fought back to win 3-2. This unexpected victory was followed by a 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at Goodison Park the following Saturday.

Andy injured his shoulder at the Bellfield training ground on Wednesday, 22nd January, and, as a result, missed the next seven first team games; Gordon West deputised.

After three games for the Reserves, Andy regained his place for the home fixture against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, 14th March, which also featured the debut of Fred Pickering, who had signed for Everton earlier that week from Blackburn Rovers for a reported fee of £80,000. The team was:

Rankin; Brown, Harris; Gabriel, Labone, Kay; Scott, Stevens, Pickering, Vernon, Temple.

Everton were 3-0 up at half-time with Pickering netting two of the goals. They scored a further three goals after the interval, including another from Pickering to complete his hat-trick. Forest got a consolation goal when Andy failed to hold a shot, the ball bouncing off his chest to allow one of the Forest forwards to score.

The following Saturday, Everton faced Blackburn at Ewood Park. They were lucky not to go a goal down in the first half when Pickering's intended pass back to Andy went straight to Blackburn's inside-left, Douglas, who had a great chance to score. However, Andy came out of his goal quickly to block Douglas' shot with his legs. Everton were 2-1 winners with a last minute goal and had Andy to thank for a number of fine saves.

As a result of the victory over Blackburn, Everton were now top of the league, two points ahead of Liverpool and Spurs with the former having played a game fewer.

Everton dropped three points from a possible six over the Easter programme. They drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion at home on Good Friday, 27th March. On the Saturday, for the home match against Blackpool, Alex Young was recalled to the side, having been dropped from the first team since January. There was a great roar of appreciation when his name was announced over the loudspeaker. The team was:

Rankin; Brown, Meagan; Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Temple, Stevens, Pickering, Young, Morrissey.

Everton won 3-1; the biggest cheer of the day greeted a goal by Young three minutes from the end.

A 4-2 defeat by West Bromwich Albion on Easter Monday all but ended Everton's hopes of retaining the championship. They were now second with 49 points from 38 games with Liverpool top with 50 points from 36 games.

Everton slumped to their second defeat in succession on Saturday, 4th April, when they lost 3-2 away to Stoke. Only Labone, Kay and Andy came out of the game with any credit, according to the match report in the Liverpool Daily Post.

On Tuesday evening, 7th April, a belated testimonial match was played at Goodison Park for Dixie Dean, one of Everton's greatest players. His best known achievement is the record-breaking 60 League goals that he scored for Everton during the 1927/28 season when Everton were champions. The testimonial featured a team of English players and a team of Scottish players drawn from Liverpool and Everton; Andy was goalkeeper for the English Players. Scotland came out on top with a 3-1 victory watched by 36,870 spectators who paid some £7,000.

On the Saturday, 11th April, Everton and Wolves drew 3-3 at Goodison Park. Everton were two up within eleven minutes, but Wolves got a goal back just past the half-hour mark. Two minutes after the interval, Wolves were level, when Andy let the ball squirm out his grasp allowing the Wolves centre-forward to tap the ball over the line. Wolves went ahead eight minutes later but the crowd were appeased when Everton levelled the score with a minute to go.

The Wolves game proved to be Tony Kay's final appearance for Everton because on the Monday after the match, Everton announced that they had suspended him pending an investigation into allegations that he had been involved in match "fixing" when a Sheffield Wednesday player. He was later sent to prison, along with several other players.

Everton faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 18th April, and lost to the only goal of the game, a penalty scored shortly before the interval. Andy had collected the ball in his area when a Chelsea forward ran into him and fell over. Amazingly, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. According to the match report in Monday's Liverpool Echo, Andy had made a number of good saves.

Liverpool secured the championship that weekend when they defeated Arsenal 5-0 at Anfield. Everton were to finish third, five points behind their local rivals.

The team for the final game of the season, a 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison, the following Saturday was:

Rankin; Brown, Meagan; Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Scott, Stevens, Pickering, Vernon, Temple.

An Everton party was soon off for a tour of Australia. They finished undefeated after eight games, including two wins over the Australian national side. Andy played in most of the matches.

1964-65 Season

In the first game of the season, on Saturday, 22nd August, Everton defeated Stoke 2-0 in the Potteries. The Everton team, which included Ray Wilson, the England full-back, signed during the close season for £25,000, was:

Rankin; Parker, Wilson; Stevens, Labone, Harris; Scott, Young, Pickering, Vernon, Temple.

On the following Tuesday, with an unchanged team, Everton beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Goodison Park. But for a series of outstanding saves by Andy, who received a great ovation from the crowd as he took his place in goal for the second-half, Forest would have been at least three goals in front at the interval.

On the Saturday, Everton took the lead in the 25th minute against Spurs at Goodison with a goal by Pickering. Andy then made a number of excellent saves before Young headed Everton's second goal 15 minutes into the second-half. Two further goals from Pickering gave him his hat-trick and ensured a comfortable victory for Everton.

In their next game, on Tuesday evening, 1st September, Everton lost 3-1 to Nottingham Forest. Within the first few minutes, Pickering had the misfortune to strain a muscle in his left thigh and was a passenger on the left-wing. According to the match report in the Liverpool Echo, "Rankin was Everton's great performer. He is in brilliant form at the moment and some of his first half saves were breathtaking."

Everton drew 1-1 with Burnley at Turf Moor in their Saturday game. Again, Andy received praise in the match report for his performance.

On Tuesday evening, 8th September, Everton drew 3-3 with Manchester United, having been 2-0 down at the interval. Andy put on another excellent performance with a number of fine saves. According to Leslie Edwards, in his Liverpool Echo match report, "Rankin's most superb save was his catch from Charlton's free-kick. This drive flew like a bullet, but it was not too fast for handy Andy Rankin." The teams were:

Everton: Rankin; Parker, Brown; Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Scott, Young, Pickering, Vernon, Temple.

Manchester United: P. Dunne; Brennan, A. Dunne; Crerand, Foulkes, Stiles; Connolly, Charlton, Herd, Law, Best.

Everton faced Manchester United in the League for the second time in eight days - this time at Old Trafford on Wednesday, 16th September - losing 2-1. Brown and Labone were the stars for Everton, aided by Andy, who again made several excellent saves.

The first Liverpool derby of the season was at Anfield on Saturday, 19th September; it was Andy's first derby match. The teams were:

Everton: Rankin; Harris, Brown; Gabriel, Labone, Stevens; Scott, Harvey, Pickering, Temple, Morrissey.

Liverpool: Lawrence; Byrne, Moran; Milne, Yeats, Stevenson; Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Wallace, Thompson.

Everton were 3-0 up at half-time and scored a fourth in the 64th minute. Soon afterwards, Andy was injured when Ron Yeats fell on top of him as they both went for a corner. Following treatment for a couple of minutes, he was able to continue in goal and, in the final minutes, foiled St John when he turned his shot away with a brilliant save. In fact, according to Michael Charters, writing in the Liverpool Echo, Andy "had a superb game once more..."

The following week, Andy appeared in goal when Everton beat Valerengen 5-2 in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in Oslo on Wednesday, 23rd September after being behind twice.

Everton again scored five on the Saturday, when they emerged 5-3 winners over Birmingham City at St Andrews. Their next two home games were disappointing 1-1 draws - the first against West Ham on Saturday, 3rd October, and the second with Sheffield Wednesday a week later. Sandwiched between those two home matches was a 2-1 midweek victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Andy played in all of those games.

The home leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup tie with Valerengen was played at Goodison on Wednesday, 14th October. The visitors were leading 2-1 until the 60th minute, after which Everton scored three times.

Three days later, Everton drew 1-1 with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Everton went ahead in the 6th minute but Blackpool were on level terms about half-an-hour later when Blackpool's centre-forward intercepted Tommy Wright's back pass and placed the ball wide of Andy into the net. Later, Andy injured himself making a brilliant save but he recovered after attention.

During the following week, Andy received the news that he had been selected for the England Under-23 team to meet Wales at Wrexham on Wednesday, 4th November.

On Saturday, 24th October, Everton were two up against Blackburn Rovers after ten minutes but a fight-back by Blackburn saw Everton slip to their first home defeat of the season by three goals to two.

Everton lost again the next Saturday, 3-1 to Arsenal at Highbury. Andy was blamed in the press for Arsenal's first goal.

The following Wednesday was the Under-23 International at Wrexham. The teams were:

England: Rankin (Everton); Badger (Sheffield United), Knowles (Spurs); Hollins (Chelsea), Mobley (Sheffield Wed), Hunter (Leeds); Wilson (Preston), Bennett (Rotherham), Chivers (Southampton), Ball (Blackpool), Sissons (West Ham).

Wales: Sprake (Leeds United); Barton (Newcastle United), Rodrigues (Cardiff City); England (Blackburn), James (Blackpool), Hennessey (Birmingham); Rees (Coventry City), Draper (Swansea), Ryan (Charlton Athletic), Blore (Blackburn Rovers), Evans (Swansea).

Two late goals by Bobby Tambling of Chelsea, who came on a substitute for the injured Bennett, ten minutes before half-time, gave England a 3-2 victory they hardly deserved. Andy was at fault for Wales' first goal and was nervous and uncertain throughout the game. As Michael Charters wrote in the Liverpool Echo on 5th November, "Altogether, a rather unhappy international debut for Rankin, who has played so brilliantly for Everton this season." Indeed, this was to be Andy's first and last international recognition.

It was back to League football on the Saturday for Andy, when he faced Leeds at Goodison Park. Everton lost 1-0 in a match in which Sandy Brown was sent off after five minutes for punching Johnny Giles. The game was littered with fouls and, later, Everton's Derek Temple was carried off on a stretcher following a collision with Leed's Bell. Everton's players surrounded the referee demanding that Bell be sent off. Instead, the referee left the field for the dressing room, followed by all the players. Play resumed after eleven minutes; Temple returned to the field four minutes later.

Brown was later suspended for 14 days for his sending off. Everton were fined £250 and ordered to post warning notices in prominent positions in their ground for one month and to print a warning to their spectators in their club programme for the same period.

Everton's next game was away to Kilmarnock in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on Wednesday, 11th November. Everton emerged worthy 2-0 winners, with Andy keeping a clean sheet.

On the following Saturday, Everton lost 5-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They failed to win again at home the next Saturday, only drawing 2-2 with Leicester after leading 2-0. Andy made two fine saves in the first-half but was at fault for Leicester's second goal when he came out too far for a cross, only to see the ball drop over his head into the net.

Everton went through to the next round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup with a 4-1 victory at Goodison Park in the second leg of their tie with Kilmarnock, giving them an aggregate score of 6-1.

Sunderland scored an emphatic 4-0 victory over Everton at Roker Park on Saturday, 28th November. None of the Everton players played well and, according to the match report, Andy gave an uncertain display, which affected the confidence of the defence.

Everton recorded their first home win since 29th August on the first Saturday in December when they thrashed Wolves 5-0.

Full-back Ray Wilson returned to Everton's side for the home game against Stoke on Saturday, 12th December, after an absence of nearly four months through injury. The team was:

Rankin; Brown, Wilson; Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Scott, Harvey, Pickering, Vernon, Temple.

Everton went ahead after 16 minutes, with several good saves by Andy helping to keep the lead at the interval. However, seven minutes into the second-half, Andy was injured diving to save at the feet of one of the Stoke forwards. He had to leave the field for treatment and Brown took his place in goal. Ten minutes after being taken off, Andy returned with a bandage on his left forearm and went to the left-wing. Brown made several good saves but was beaten with 13 minutes to go.

Andy was out for two months following the injury to his left arm, returning for the Reserves against Newcastle Reserves at Goodison Park on Saturday, 13th February, 1965.

With Gordon West playing well in goal, Andy remained in the Reserves for the rest of the season. Of the 12 League games he missed through injury, Everton lost only one, 4-1 away to Leeds; they drew three and won eight. They finished fourth in the League, were beaten by Leeds in the FA Cup, and knocked out of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup by Manchester United.

Looking back on the season, Andy would have had mixed emotions. He would have been happy with a number of splendid performances during his run of 26 consecutive appearances for the first team until his injury in December. He would also have been pleased with his selection for the England Under-23 side. However, he was at fault for the two Welsh goals and his subsequent displays for Everton did not set the world alight.

1965-66 Season

Andy was included in the squad of 17 players that travelled to Norway on Sunday, 8th August for a two match pre-season tour of Norway, but he did not play in either of the games.

He was in the Reserve team that drew 1-1 away to Preston Reserves on the first Saturday of the season, and appeared in goal in five of the next six Reserve games; Barnett replaced him in the other.

Saturday, 25th September, saw the first team and Central League derby games. The Reserves were at home but lost 3-1. Andy was at fault for the first goal when he misjudged a cross. Later, he brought Liverpool's centre-forward down in the penalty area and Liverpool converted the resultant penalty. Liverpool easily won the first team derby by five goals to nil.

Andy was called into the first team against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, 16th October, as Gordon West had broken his collar-bone in an earlier game. The team was:

Rankin; Wright, Wilson; Gabriel, Brown, Harris; Scott, Harvey, Pickering, Temple, Morrissey.

Everton lost 3-2 after Colin Harvey had been sent off for retaliation.

Everton's next game, away to Blackpool, was a scoreless draw, although Blackpool should have had a goal when Andy rolled the ball to Charnley, the Blackpool forward, who fortunately hit the ball over the crossbar.

Everton recorded their first away victory of the season at Ewood Park on Saturday, 30th October, when they beat Blackburn Rovers by two goals to one.

On the Wednesday, they lost 3-0 to Upjesti Dozsa in Hungary in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. According to Michael Charters' match report in the Liverpool Echo, the performance of most of Everton's side was below par and Andy was to blame for the first two goals.

Three days later, Everton lost 2-1 against Leicester City at Goodison. Although the match report was critical of the forwards' play, it also pointed out that Andy's tendency to leave his line, allowing the opposition to float the ball over his head, was a weakness in the defence.

Everton lost again on Saturday, 13th November, this time away to Sheffield United by two goals to nil. Andy was at fault for the second goal, seven minutes from the end, when he missed his punch to a cross, allowing United's centre-forward to head the ball into the net.

Although Everton beat Upjesti Dozsa 2-1 at Goodison in the second-leg of their Inter-Cities tie, they went out of the competition on aggregate by 4-2. Andy played in goal.

He kept his place for the next two League games, a 0-0 draw at home with Leeds and a 3-0 defeat by West Ham at Upton Park. However, he was dropped in favour of 18 year-old Geoff Barnett, for the home game against Sunderland, which Everton won 2-0. It was Barnett's first team debut.

Barnett kept his place for the next eight games, of which Everton won two, drew two and lost four. The last of those games was a 2-0 defeat by Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, 15th January, 1966, a defeat for which Barnett was blamed.

West was recalled to the first team the following Saturday for the Third Round FA Cup tie at Goodison Park against Sunderland, which Everton won 3-0.

On 8th February, it was reported by the local press that Andy had suffered a hairline fracture of the cheekbone in an accident at home. He did not play again until the Reserve game at Goodison Park on Saturday, 12th March, which Everton won 1-0.

On the Saturday before Everton's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on 23rd April, Everton faced Leeds at Elland Road. The Everton team for that game included a number of reserves. It was:

Rankin; Brown, Darcy; Hurst, Smith, Glover; Husband, Humphreys, Royle, Trebilcock, Morrissey.

Darcy, Humphreys and Smith were making their debuts for Everton. Everton lost 4-1 and were later fined £2000 for failing to field a full-strength side.

Everton beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final and went on to win the Cup three weeks later for the first time since 1933 with one of the greatest fight-backs in Cup history. Two goals down after 54 minutes, Trebilcock, who had only played eight first team games for Everton, scored twice and Derek Temple got the winner with sixteen minutes of the game remaining. West was in goal.

It was a disappointing season for Andy. Recalled to the first team in October to replace the injured Gordon West, he was blamed for a number of goals in the nine games that he played, and was then replaced by Geoff Barnett, the third choice keeper.

1966-67 Season

Everton made two of their most significant signings that season. In the week before the League competition started, Everton signed World Cup hero, Alan Ball, for £110,000, a record fee for English clubs. And then, on 10th March, 1967, they announced the signing of Howard Kendall for £80,000 from Preston North End.

Andy was a regular for the Central League team until Saturday, 1st April, when he was called into the first team for the home game against Aston Villa, which Everton won 3-1.

The teams for the FA Cup 6th round tie against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground the following Saturday were:

Everton: Rankin; Wright, Wilson; Hurst, Labone, Harvey; Young, Ball, Husband, Brown, Morrissey. Substitute: Temple.

Forest: Grummitt; Hindley, Whitfield; Hennessey, McKinlay, Newton; Lyons, Barnwell, Baker, Wignall, Moore. Substitute: Hinton.

Everton went ahead after 36 minutes with a glorious goal by Jimmy Husband and, going in at half-time with a one goal lead, looked the better team. After the interval, however, Forest equalised in the 67th minute when Andy saved a shot from Wignall, but then lost the ball, which bounced out to Moore, who had a simple job of turning it over the line. Two minutes later, Moore scored a second with an excellent shot from inside the area. Everton got themselves back into the game with an equaliser and second goal from Husband. But, with only seconds to go before the final whistle, Moore completed his hat-trick.

Following the cup defeat, Andy appeared in the next five League matches, which included three wins, a draw and a defeat. Gordon West returned for the final two games, a 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor and a 4-1 win over Sunderland at Goodison Park.

1967-68 Season

West's injury at Spurs at the end of March had presented Andy with an opportunity to re-establish himself as the first choice keeper. But, a number of errors, particularly in the FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest, cost him that chance. Perhaps, then, it was no surprise to him when he found that he had effectively slipped to third choice keeper for he was not selected for the pre-season tours to Dublin and Holland, or the public trial at Goodison on Saturday, 12th August. Gordon West and Geoff Barnett were the keepers on each occasion. Andy played for the A team, with only rare appearances for the Reserves.

On Friday 15th March 1968, the Liverpool Echo broke the news that Andy had signed for Huddersfield for £25,000 and that he was to keep goal for them in their home match with Derby County at Leeds Road the following day. But four days later, the same newspaper reported that he was still an Everton player and that the deal had broken down because of a medical problem.

1968-69 Season

Andy was clearly still third choice keeper as Gordon West and Geoff Barnett were again selected for the pre-season trip to Dublin. He and Barnett shared the goalkeeping duties for the Reserves during the season.

1969-70 Season

Andy and Barnett continued to share the goalkeeper's jersey in the Reserves. However, at the end of September, Barnett moved to Arsenal, leaving Andy as the reserve keeper.

Everton won the First Division championship that season when they finished nine points clear of runners-up Leeds United.

1970/71 Season

On Wednesday, 16th September, Everton defeated Keflavik, a team of amateurs from Iceland, 6-2 at Goodison Park in a European Cup-tie. Both the Icelandic team's goals resulted from mistakes by Gordon West, who was jeered by the Everton fans during the game.

Manager Harry Catterick dropped West for the Saturday League game against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Andy made his first appearance in the senior team since 6th May 1967, an absence of nearly three and a half years, but had little to do in the 2-0 win.

He kept his place for the home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 26th September, which Everton won 3-0. When the game was goalless, Andy made a magnificent save, turning a fierce shot away for a corner and, then, shortly after Everton had gone ahead, he again came to Everton's rescue when he blocked a shot with his legs.

The second leg of the European Cup-tie was played in Iceland on a very muddy pitch on Wednesday, 30th September. Keflavik never threatened Andy's goal, whilst Everton scored three times, to win 9-2 on aggregate.

In their League game the following Saturday, Everton lost 3-1 away to Coventry City. A week later, in Everton's 1-1 draw at home to Derby County, whilst Everton were ahead, Andy made three excellent saves but, in the end, he could not prevent Derby getting an equaliser. Everton's team was:

Rankin; Brown, Newton; Kendall, Kenyon, Harvey; Whittle, Jackson, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey.

The following week, Everton signed Henry Newton from Nottingham Forest for £150,000. Tommy Jackson moved to Forest as part of the deal.

Newton made his debut against Arsenal in Everton's heaviest loss of the season, 4-0 to Arsenal at Highbury on Saturday, 17th October. According to the match report, if it had not been for Andy, the defeat would have been even greater.

In midweek, Everton drew 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany in the quarter-final of the European Cup and then had mixed results in their next two League games, beating Newcastle 3-1 at Goodison on 24th October and losing 3-0 away to West Bromwich Albion a week later. Following the Albion game, Andy had to have four stitches inserted in a cut over his eye.

In the second-leg at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening, 4th November, Everton reached the semi-finals of the European Cup beating Borussia Monchengladbach 4-3 on penalties after the game had ended 1-1 (2-2 on aggregate) after extra time. The headline in the Liverpool Echo the following day was "Heroes all - but Andy Rankin is the king." Andy had dived to his right to push away the final penalty and was immediately engulfed by his team-mates wishing to congratulate him.

On the Saturday, Andy was given a great reception by the 40,000 crowd at Goodison as he came out to face Nottingham Forest in the League. It was a scrappy game but Everton, suffering from a European hangover, did manage to scrape home with the only goal of the game.

The following week, Everton earned a point at the Potteries when they drew 1-1 with Stoke. Towards the end of the game, Andy made the save of the match when he touched a great shot from Stoke's Barnard round the post.

Saturday, 21st November, saw the 103rd local derby at Anfield. The teams were:

Liverpool: Clemence; Lawler, Lindsay; Smith, Lloyd, Hughes; Hall, McLaughlin, Heighway, Toshack, Ross.

Everton: Rankin; Wright, Newton (H); Kendall, Labone, Harvey; Whittle, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey.

Despite taking a 2-0 lead after a goalless first half, Everton were beaten 3-2. Whittle and Royle scored to put Everton two up with just over quarter of an hour of the second half gone. Heighway pulled one back for Liverpool in the 69th minute and, then, Toshack equalised eleven minutes later. Five minutes from the end Lawler scored the winner.

Everton drew their next two games - 0-0 at home to Spurs and 1-1 away to Huddersfield Town - and then at Goodison on Saturday, 12th December, they completely outclassed Southampton, who had Jimmy Gabriel in their side. Everton were four goals up before Southampton got a consolation goal with 12 minutes to go. Andy's only save came three minutes from the end.

The following Saturday, Everton had another home game, against League leaders Leeds United on this occasion. Leed's Jack Charlton headed the only goal of the game after ten minutes.

Everton lost 2-0 to Wolves at Molyneux in Boxing Day. The match report in the Liverpool Echo claimed "... it was Andy Rankin the Everton goalkeeper who saved his team from complete humiliation".

On Saturday, 2nd January 1971, Everton beat Second Division Blackburn Rovers 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup. Andy's first save was in the 77th minute.

Everton drew their next League fixture, 2-2, with Burnley at Turf Moor, and then faced Chelsea at Goodison on Saturday, 16th January. They took the lead in the 8th minute, but Chelsea were awarded a penalty some ten minutes later. Andy repeated his Monchengladbach penalty save to prevent Chelsea equalising when he dived low to his right and held on to the ball. Everton scored twice more to win 3-0 and give themselves a confidence-boosting win before their fourth round FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough the next week.

In fact, Everton had no trouble despatching Second Division Middlesbrough from the Cup at Goodison Park by three goals to nil.

Everton won their next two League games, both of which were at Goodison. They beat Spurs 2-1 on Saturday, 30th January, and the following week, they defeated Huddersfield Town by the same score.

It was back to the FA Cup on Saturday, 13th February - a 5th round tie at home to Derby County. West was back in the first team for the first time in five months. Andy had been injured against Spurs and, although he had played against Huddersfield the following week, he was still feeling the injury in training and it was decided not to risk him. Everton won 1-0 to go through to the next round.

Andy missed the next three games, including the derby match, which finished goalless. However, he was back in the team for the FA Cup quarter-final against Colchester at Goodison Park on Saturday, 6th March. The Everton eleven were:

Rankin; Wright, Newton H; Kendall, Kenyon, Harvey; Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey.

Everton finished off the game before the interval with four goals in 13 minutes and then added a fifth five minutes before the end. Before Everton had scored, Andy had to pull off a brilliant save from centre-forward Crawford's header to prevent Colchester taking the lead. Even Crawford himself applauded the save.

The Cup draw then produced the semi-final that no Merseysider wanted - Everton to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday, 27th March. It was Everton's fourth semi-final in six years.

In the meantime, Everton drew 1-1 with the Greek Champions Panathanaikos, managed by Ferenc Puskas, at Goodison on Tuesday, 9th March in the European Cup. It was one of the most one-sided games; Andy did not have a save to make until the 66th minute.

On the Saturday, Everton beat Stoke 2-0 in the League at Goodison. Andy injured his knee after 20 minutes of the first half but he still managed to make three first class saves. The England goalkeeper, Gordon Banks, was in the Stoke team. In the Liverpool Echo on Monday, 15th March, Michael Charters wrote that Andy "looked the more capable goalkeeper in direct contrast to the England Number 1."

Andy's injury from the Stoke game kept him out of the away fixture with Newcastle the following Wednesday. His place was taken by Dai Davies, 22 years of age, who had been signed from Swansea four months earlier for £20,000. Although Davies did well on his debut, Everton lost 2-1.

Davies kept goal again for the away fixture against Nottingham Forest on the Saturday, which Everton lost 3-2.

Andy was recalled for the European Cup away leg against Panathanaikos on Wednesday, 24th March. Neither keeper had much to do and the match ended in a goalless draw and 1-1 on aggregate, which meant that the Greek side went through to the semi-finals on the away goal.

There was another important game on the Saturday - the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Old Trafford. The teams on the day were:

Everton: Rankin; Wright, Newton K; Kendall, Labone, Harvey; Whittle, Ball, Royle, Hurst, Morrissey.

Liverpool: Clemence; Lawler, Lindsay; Smith, Lloyd, Hughes; Callaghan, Evans, Heighway, Toshack, Hall.

Sixty-two thousand fans saw Alan Ball give Everton the lead after only ten minutes. However, five minutes after the interval, an injury forced Brian Labone to limp off the field to be replaced by substitute Sandy Brown. This proved to be a turning point in the game for less than ten minutes later, Liverpool equalised. Liverpool then did most of the attacking, and it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 72nd minute with the final goal of the tie. Andy, who had had a magnificent game otherwise, let a cross slip from his grasp whereupon Hall drove the ball into the net.

Everton lost their next two League games - 1-0 to West Ham at Goodison on Tuesday, 27th March and then 3-0 to Manchester City at Maine Road on the Saturday. Although Andy made a number of fine saves against City, he also made several mistakes, one of which led to City's first goal.

On Tuesday, 6th April, Everton drew 0-0 away to Ipswich. Andy kept Everton in the game with four great saves in the first-half. Michael Charters of the Liverpool Echo thought it was Andy's best display of the season.

Everton were then beaten 2-1 at home by Wolves four days later; they beat Coventry 3-0 at Goodison in midweek; lost again on Saturday, 17th April, this time 3-1 to Derby County at the Baseball ground; shared a goalless draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, 24th April; and then lost their final League game of the season a week later when they were beaten 2-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Andy featured in all of these games.

Since their disastrous 72 hours when they lost their European Cup quarter-final and FA Cup semi-final, Everton had played eight league games - losing five, winning one and drawing the other two. They finished 14th in the League with 37 points from 42 games, their lowest League placing since Harry Catterick became their manager.

Everton's final game of the season was the third and fourth FA Cup play-off against Stoke City on the evening before the Cup-Final itself. The match was played at Crystal Palace before a crowd of only 5,031. Despite leading 2-0, Everton were beaten 3-2 by Stoke. Everton's team was:

Everton: Rankin; Wright, Newton (H); Kendal, Labone, Harvey; Whittle, Ball, Johnson, Lyons, Morrissey.

The following day, Liverpool lost 2-1 to Arsenal after extra time in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, despite taking the lead.

In all, Andy had played in 28 League matches and nine Cup games, the most first team appearances he had made in a season during his years at Everton. He would probably have been fairly satisfied with himself. He would certainly have long-lasting memories of his penalty save against Borussia Monchengladbach that secured a place for Everton in the quarter-finals of the European Cup. He would also have been aware, however, that he had made some errors that had led to crucial goals, not least when he dropped the ball to enable Liverpool to score the goal that sealed their appearance in the FA Cup Final.

Andy was included in the seventeen-man squad for the three-match tour of Israel, leaving Liverpool on 22nd May. Everton won their three games.

1971-72 Season

Although Andy, was in the squad to play Rangers and the Israeli champions Maccabi Netanya in pre-season matches, Gordon West was selected in goal for both games.

When the season began, West was back in favour and was the first choice goalkeeper from the outset, whilst Andy shared the Reserve team berth with Dai Davies.

In mid-November, Andy signed for Watford, who were bottom of the Second Division, for £20,000. He had not asked for a transfer but saw the move as an ideal opportunity to play regular first-team football.

In his time at Everton, Andy played 85 League games, seven FA Cup-ties and 11 Cup matches in Europe.