Cranston was a centre back who began his career at Blackpool, making 33 league appearances between 1961 and 1965. He joined Preston North End during the 1964-65 season and made 87 League appearances and scored 1 goal for the Deepdale club. He was named the club's Official Player of the Year in 1969-70 despite only making 16 appearances that season. He moved to Oldham Athletic in 1970.
Cranston is now a maintenance officer at Burnley Police Station.