Andy Rankin dead at 79: Everton hero and European history-maker passes away as tributes pour in


FORMER Everton star Andy Rankin has died aged 79.

The ex-Goodison goalkeeper played for the Toffees between 1963 and 1971, with tributes pouring in.

GettyAndy Rankin played for Everton between 1963 and 1971[/caption]

GettyThe goalkeeper played 105 times for the Toffees[/caption]

Goalkeeper Rankin played 105 times for Everton before joining Watford.

Concluding a lengthy tribute, the Toffees wrote: “The thoughts of everyone at Everton Football Club are with Andy’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Rankin’s former Goodison team-mate Joe Royle said: “Andy was a great keeper, very athletic with excellent reflexes. He was brave with it as well.

“Everton was his team and he was just so unlucky to have Westy [Gordon West] in front of him.

“Whenever he played, he never let us down, that’s for sure. I’ll never forget the penalty save against Monchengladbach to take us through.

“And I am certain that he will forever be the last Everton goalkeeper to drive three-wheeled Robin Reliant! The lads picked it up one day and hid it behind the gym at Bellefield!

“Andy saw the funny side because he had a great sense of humour himself. He was just a great guy and I am deeply saddened by his passing.”

Rankin made history during his career by becoming the first goalkeeper to ever make a victory-securing save in a Uefa penalty shoot-out.

His big moment came during a European Cup tie with Borussia Monchengladbach in 1970.

Following a 2-2 aggregate draw, Rankin saved from Ludwig Muller to send his team through.

He left Goodison in 1971, joining Watford for £20,000.

Rankin represented the Hornets until 1980, making more than 300 appearances.

He concluded his career with a two-year spell at Huddersfield, hanging up his boots in 1982.

Upon news of Rankin’s passing, the Terriers wrote on social media: “We’re all saddened to learn of the passing of our former goalkeeper Andy Rankin, aged 79.

“Among his achievements, he played 24 times as #htafc clinched the Fourth Division title in May 1980.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Following his playing retirement, Rankin tried his hand at coaching.

He then switched careers, working at a printing firm until retiring.

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