Strapping full back George Rankin was one of the same group of Liverpool Schoolboys footballers as Jimmy Tansey and T. E. Jones. But while his contemporaries would between them make more than 550 Everton appearances, Rankin was largely a peripheral player at Goodison and struggled to make a first team shirt his own in an Everton career that lasted more than a decade.
Affiliated with the club since the war years, he was signed as a part time professional in November 1947 on wages of £3 per week. His break came in the catastrophic 1950/51 season, when manager Cliff Britton constantly reshuffled his full back in an attempt to plug a leaky defence that would ultimately see the club relegated. Rankin’s progress was then stunted by a call up to national service and although he was belatedly made a full time professional in 1953, he struggled to dislodge Jack Lindsay and, subsequently, Don Donovan from the left back berth.
Rankin represented the British Army in 1951 in a match against Ireland and was subject of interest from Torquay United, who had a £2,000 bid accepted for him in November 1953. Rankin declined to move south and made occasional appearances for the Blues over the subsequent three seasons. Finally, after the dismissal of Cliff Britton in 1956, he was placed on the transfer list. In July that year Southport had a £500 bid accepted, and in Lancashire Rankin flourished.