Andy Rankin dead at 79: Everton hero and European history-maker passes away as tributes pour in

FORMER Everton star Andy Rankin has died aged 79.

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The ex-Goodison goalkeeper played for the Toffees between 1963 and 1971, with tributes pouring in.

GettyAndy Rankin played for Everton between 1963 and 1971[/caption]

GettyThe goalkeeper played 105 times for the Toffees[/caption]

Goalkeeper Rankin played 105 times for Everton before joining Watford.

Concluding a lengthy tribute, the Toffees wrote: “The thoughts of everyone at Everton Football Club are with Andy’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Rankin’s former Goodison team-mate Joe Royle said: “Andy was a great keeper, very athletic with excellent reflexes. He was brave with it as well.

“Everton was his team and he was just so unlucky to have Westy [Gordon West] in front of him.

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“Whenever he played, he never let us down, that’s for sure. I’ll never forget the penalty save against Monchengladbach to take us through.

“And I am certain that he will forever be the last Everton goalkeeper to drive three-wheeled Robin Reliant! The lads picked it up one day and hid it behind the gym at Bellefield!

“Andy saw the funny side because he had a great sense of humour himself. He was just a great guy and I am deeply saddened by his passing.”

Rankin made history during his career by becoming the first goalkeeper to ever make a victory-securing save in a Uefa penalty shoot-out.

His big moment came during a European Cup tie with Borussia Monchengladbach in 1970.

Following a 2-2 aggregate draw, Rankin saved from Ludwig Muller to send his team through.

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