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Mark Rankine

Born in Doncaster, Mark was on Manchester United’s books as a schoolboy but joined Rovers aged 16, playing in the Youth Team. In his second season he helped Rovers to win the Northern Intermediate League Cup, scoring in the final victory over Huddersfield Town alongside another Hall of Fame inductee, Brian Deane.

He made his first-team debut aged 17 in a team that was ultimately relegated to Division Four, but the highlight of his season was captaining the Youth Team to the FA Youth Cup Final. Rovers defeated the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on the way to the final, and although ultimately defeated 6-1 on aggregate by a talented Arsenal side, the youngsters did Rovers proud. Mark scored five goals in the campaign, including two in the semi-final win over Tottenham.

Mark was a versatile player and could play in midfield or attack. In 1988-89 he was an ever-present and his 11 League goals helped ensure Rovers’ Football League survival in a difficult season. Thereafter he was used in a more defensive role, eventually becoming a very accomplished attacking right-back. These were not particularly memorable times at Belle Vue, although Rovers did top Division Four for a spell in 1990-91, but Mark was always a stand-out player, both for his talent and consistency.

His performances attracted the attention of other clubs and in January 1992 cash-strapped Rovers accepted an offer of £70,000 from Wolverhampton Wanderers for Mark’s services. He spent five seasons at Molineux before moving to Preston North end in 1986, going on to play 272 times for the Lancashire team and helping them earn promotion. He later had spells with Sheffield United and Tranmere Rovers. After retiring he became a successful football agent. Mark is the uncle of Tottenham and England full-back Danny Rose, another Doncaster lad.

Rovers Debut: 15th August 1987, Division Three vs. Grimsby Town (home) won 1-0.

Final game: 18th January 1992, Division Four vs. Chesterfield (away) drew 0-0.

Career: Football League: 164 appearances, 20 goals. All senior games: 195 appearances, 25 goals

Honours: Northern Intermediate League Cup winner 1986-87, FA Youth Cup Finalist 1987-88.

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