Wombwell, Yorkshire born outside right Syd Rawlings began his football career with the Dick, Kerr’s XI works side from where he was signed by Second Division club Preston North End in March 1932, making his Football League debut against Port Vale in October 1933. He made 13 appearances for Preston as they moved towards eventual promotion as Second Division runners up, before which Rawlings had been signed by First Division club Huddersfield Town in March 1934, and he scored once in 7 appearances before the season end as The Terriers finished runners up in the League Championship.
But the following season Rawlings found himself on the fringes, scoring once more in 4 further appearances before a move to West Bromwich Albion in March 1935. He went straight into their first eleven but lost his place the next month after in 5 matches, and he then scored his only goal for The Baggies in 5 further matches that September before losing his place, and he wasn’t seen again in the first eleven before a move to Third Division (South) club Northampton Town in June 1936.
His first season at The County Ground saw him miss only 3 matches for The Cobblers and his return of 17 goals saw him second in the list of goalscorers, and he was a regular in the early months of next season before he was signed by divisional rivals Millwall at the start of December 1937 after 18 goals in 51 appearances for Northampton Town. He was then a constant feature in Millwall’s push towards the Third Division (South) Championship scoring 5 of his 14 goals in the last two matches, both won, which included a hat-trick in a 5-1 win at Exeter City on the final day.
Rawlings also contributed 14 goals to their 1938-39 campaign as they consolidated their Second Division status, but when the Second World War broke out in September 1939, by when he had played 56 matches for The Lions, his career was severely affected. Rawlings played for Everton during the War having initially played on loan from Millwall and he then signed permanently in 1940. He also made a few guest appearances for Liverpool. Prior to his move to Everton he had played in Millwall’s run to the Final of 1940 Football League War Cup, which they lost to Chelsea in front of crowd of 90,000 at Wembley.
After the War he played twice for Everton in their 1946 FA Cup campaign, when they were beaten over two legs by former club Preston, but in May 1946 he joined Plymouth Argyle ahead of the resumption of peacetime League football. He played his last match for The Pilgrims in December 1947 and retired in 1948 after 20 goals in 57 matches for Argyle.
He was the son of England international Archie Rawlings who played for among others Northampton Town, Dundee, Preston North End, Liverpool, Walsall, Bradford Park Avenue and Southport between 1912 and 1928.