Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Clifford Rankin

Known as
Cliff Rankin


4 December 1896

12 February 1975 (aged 78)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 239d
Last game: 31y 258d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 69 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 6

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

Cliff Rankin

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
GeelongV/AFL1915, 1919-19281533992.6156%3
Total1915, 1919-19281533992.6156%3

AFL: 2,215th player to appear, 1,250th most games played, 101st most goals kickedGeelong: 242nd player to appear, 80th most games played, 7th most goals kicked

Son of former Geelong champion Teddy Rankin, and brother of team mate Bert, Cliff 'Ticker' Rankin was one of the last goalsneaks in the VFL to specialise in the place kick. He made his league debut late in the 1915 season, having arrived at Geelong from Chilwell, but then missed the better part of four years, during which time he played rugby while on war service, before returning to Geelong in 1919. The following year he began to make a name for himself as a clever and highly effective forward, topping Geelong's goal kicking list for the first of four consecutive times. In 1921, he booted 63 goals to overhaul Percy Martini's club record of 51 established in 1910.

The keys to Rankin's success at the goal front were his astute awareness of where a ball was likely to spill to ground off the hands of a pack, and lethal accuracy when snap-shooting for goal from almost any angle, and with either foot. Later in his career he moved away from full forward to a forward pocket or the half forward line, but continued to prove equally effective. Appointed captain-coach of the Cats in 1925 he had the honour of leading them to their first ever league premiership that same year. In the Grand Final against Collingwood Rankin played in a forward pocket and was one of Geelong's best as he booted five of the side's 10 goals for the match.

A regular VFL interstate representative, Cliff Rankin captained the Big V in 1926 against both South Australia and Western Australia. He continued at Geelong until the end of the 1928 season, having captain-coached the team from 1925-27. In 153 VFL games he kicked a total of 400 goals, adding a further 30 goals in 14 interstate appearances.

Author - John Devaney


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