Bert Rankin

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Bert Rankin
Personal information
Date of birth (1893-02-17)17 February 1893
Date of death 20 June 1971(1971-06-20) (aged 78)
Original team(s) Chilwell (GDFA)
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 77 kg (170 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1912–1923 Geelong 132 (21)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1923.
Sources: AFL Tables,
Cliff and Bert Rankin standing with their father, Edwin "Teddy" Rankin, on the occasion of the sons' selection in the 1923 Victorian state team

Albert Vivian Rankin (known as ‘Bert’) (17 February 1893 – 20 June 1971) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Geelong in the Victorian Football League (VFL). His brothers Cliff and Doug as well as his father Teddy and other members of the family played league football for Geelong.

Rankin started his career as a forward, but played most of his football as a centreman. A player with exceptional pace, he was also a regular user of the drop kick. In 1917 he won Geelong's best and fairest award. He captained Victoria at interstate football in 1922 and then Geelong in 1923. His brother Cliff was vice captain. This was the first time in VFL history that a pair of brothers filled both positions at the same time. It turned out to be Bert Rankin's last season in the league as, controversially, he lost his spot in the side during the finals and walked out on the club.[1] His brother, Cliff, refused to take the field in support of his brother.[2]

He is credited with suggesting that Geelong adopt the nickname of the Cats.[3] Rankin made his senior VFL debut one year and 320 days after the retirement of his father; a VFL/AFL record.[4]

After the disappointment of the 1923 season, Rankin left Geelong to coach the Dimboola Football Club.[5]

In 1915, Rankin married Winifred Hornsey. He died in Dimboola in 1971.[6]


  1. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (4th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 538–539. ISBN 1-74095-001-1.
  2. ^ Sporting Globe, 22 September 1923, p. 1; The Argus, 25 Sep 1923, pp. 21-22; Geelong Advertiser, 6 November 1923, p. 9; Sporting Globe, 10 March 1928, p. 6; J. Ross (ed.), 100 Years of Australian Football, Ringwood, 1996, p. 113.
  3. ^ Cats purrfect cup final omen
  4. ^ Lovett, M. "New Blues cult hero helping close the generation gap", AFL Record, 11–14 May 2012, p. 10.
  5. ^ Geelong Advertiser, 17 April 1924, p. 3.
  6. ^ J. and J. McDonald, Three William McDonalds, Canberra, 2010, pp. 91-93.

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