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Marine William Ranner

1934 - 19??

By RMFA Historian Shaun Foster

William Ranner 1947.png

Goal Keeper Marine William Ranner who played for the Corps team for about 5 years from 1945 - 1949

Marine W. H. Ranner or "Sticks" to so many, joined the Corps in 1934 and first came into prominence as a footballer when, in his first ship, HMS Enterprise, in 1938 he played in goal for the squadron, the youngster of the team, and also for the Combined Services (Ceylon).

Later in that year he took over from Marine Renouf at Portsmouth where Renouf had set a very high standard indeed. At the out break of the war Ranner was serving with the 2nd Battalion. He played for both the Battalion and the 101 Brigade, which included quite a few professionals. He then went to sea in H.M.S. Manchester and played regularly for the ship until he had to swim for it.

For the 1942-43 season he was back at Eastney, where he played for the Division and the Command and was invited to play as guest player for Portsmouth Football Club in the London League.

He next appeared in Iceland, where, together with Marine Heighton, another Navy player, he turned out for the Combined Services (Iceland).

After the war he was again in Eastney colours and reached the peak of his career, being capped for the Navy (1947-48) against the Army, the R.A.F. and London Leagues. He played for the Corps in 1947, 1948 and 1949, and it was while he was defending for Eastney in the 1947 season that the brought off the coveted double by winning both the Navy cup beating Royal Marines Chatham Division in an all Royal Marines final and the U.S. Charity Cup beating R.A.F.  Thornley. He also won the 1950 USMC Challenge Trophy when RMB Eastney beat RM Deal 3-2 (Played after a replay on 1st March 1951, this after losing the 1946 final when RM Portsmouth were beaten 3-0 by RM Chatham.

1947 Tunney Cup Winners RM Portsmouth Di

1947 Tunney Cup Winners Portsmouth RM

RM Portsmouth 3 (Lobjoit, Weaver, McInnes) Depot RM Deal 2 (Platt-Chance, tbc) Played 10th March 1948 at the Great Lines ground Chatham. The Portsmouth team lift up the Skipper CSgt Green. The Team, William Ranner, Cotter, Yaxley, Filby, Green, Newell, Smith, McInnes, Lobjoit, Hayes, Weaver.

Recently, in H.M.S. Mauritius and Kenya, flagships of the East Indies Station, he has been playing for the ship, the Fleet and Combined Services (Ceylon). Back to the latter again after fourteen years of first class football.

To all that have heard the familiar call "Its mine" it is a sad blow to learn that he is hanging up his boots and will play no more in serious football, for throughout the Corps "Sticks" Ranner is surely a byword for goalkeeping. No doubt we will still see a lot of him as trainer and coach; his tips to the younger generation in the art and sportsmanship of the game will be a very great asset to those who follow him.

1946-47 RM Portsmouth.jpg

1946-47 Portsmouth Division Football Team

The three cups on show are US Charity Cup, Navy Cup, Trafalgar Cup.

Back row L to R CSgt Norris, Mne Fletcher, Cpl Davidson, Mne William Ranner, Mne Yaxley, Mne McCullum, CSM Mayles (Trainer).

Front row L to R Cpl Newall, Sgt Smith, Sgt Hayes, Lieut (Qr. Mr.) R J Brookes M.B.E (Chairman), Mne Hayden, Mne Fairweather, Sgt C Quinn (Secretary) Inset CSgt Green

Team sheets featuring Marine William Ranner


24th Oct 1945 Trafalgar Cup

Royal Marines v Royal Navy 

Score TBC

Royal Marines Team

1. Mne Ranner

2. Cpl Frost 3. Mne Piper (Fulham FC) 4. Sgt Platt-Chance 5. Cpl Flewin (Portsmouth FC)

6. Mne McCallum (Morton FC) 7. Mne Wilkinson (Nottingham Forest) 8. Sgt Lund 9. Mne Stott (Portsmouth FC) 

10. Mne Mullard (Walsall FC) 11. Mne Saunders

Royal Navy Team

1. PO Taylor (Grimsby Town)

2. PO Crossley (Portsmouth FC) 3. AB Lewis, 4. AB Davies,

5. AB Egglestone (Derby County)


6. PO Stock, 7. TEL Kerr (Aston Villa), 8. PO Thomas (Brentford), 9. PO James (Chelsea),


10. AB Taylor (Newcastle United), 11. PO Highett (Portsmouth FC)

Wednesday 14th January 1948

Privett Park Gosport

Royal Marines 4 (Lindop, Gibson 2, Hayes) v Royal Navy Air Command 5

Royal Marines Team

1. Mne Ranner (Po.)

2. Sgt Smith (Ch.) 3. Musn Hopkins (R.N.S.M) 4. Sgt Patt-Chance (Deal), 5. CSgt Green (po.)

6. Cpl Dearsly (Po.) 7. Cpl Weaver (Po.) 8. Sgt C.S.P. Hayes (Po.) 9. Mne Lindop (I.T.C)

10. Mne Gibson (I.T.C) 11. Mne Wray (Ch.)

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