Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Albert Vivian Rankin

Known as
Bert Rankin

17 February 1893

20 June 1971 (aged 78)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 84d
Last game: 30y 210d

Height and weight
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 77 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 22, 13, 2

Family links
Teddy Rankin (Father)Cliff Rankin (Brother)Tom Rankin (Uncle)Graeme O'Donnell (Nephew)Doug Rankin (Half-brother)Gary O'Donnell (Great nephew)

Bert Rankin

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
GeelongV/AFL1912-1915, 1917-1923132210.1635%0
Total1912-1915, 1917-1923132210.1635%0

AFL: 1,889th player to appear, 1,637th most games played, 3,570th most goals kickedGeelong: 214th player to appear, 106th most games played, 280th most goals kicked

Originally from Chilwell, Bert Rankin debuted for Geelong in 1912, only two seasons after his father, Edward Rankin, had retired. A highly skilled and clever player, he inherited his father's fleetness of foot and adroitness, as well as being a marvellous exponent of the drop kick. He played his early football on the forward lines before moving to the wing, where his exceptional pace could be exploited to maximum effect. In 1917 he took over as the senior side's centreman, and for the next seven seasons he was without peer in the position anywhere in the land. When interstate football resumed after the war, Bert Rankin became a regular fixture in VFL representative sides, and was appointed captain in 1922. He and his brother Cliff were the first siblings to play together in the same VFL combination.

In 1923, Rankin appeared set to embark on the most exciting phase of his VFL career when he was appointed captain of Geelong. However, late in the season his form deteriorated, and he was dropped, whereupon, in a display of petulance that seems hard to credit nowadays, he walked out on the club and never played again. In 11 seasons with the Pivotonians he played 132 senior games. He also played seven times for the VFL.

Author - John Devaney


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* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.