Newarthill, Lanarkshire born centre half Adam Allan, nicknamed “Skull”, began his football career with Regent Star and played for Rutherglen Glencairn in 1924 before signing for Scottish League club Falkirk in 1925. He spent two seasons with The Bairns and clearly impressed, with leading First Division club Sunderland securing his signature in the 1927 close season, his Football League debut following against Portsmouth that August.
However by October he had lost his place before regaining it the following April, and he was a regular in Sunderland’s 1928-29 campaign as they finished fourth in the League Championship. The following season he struggled to get a foothold in the Sunderland team, as Jock McDougall had become the established choice at centre half, and he played several matches at left half before being transferred to Second Division club Reading in the 1930 close season after 65 appearances for The Rokerites.
Although Reading were relegated in his first season at Elm Park, Allan remained a regular in their line up for a further two seasons as they finished runners up and in fourth place in the Third Division (South), narrowly missing out on promotion. However he returned to Scotland in the summer of 1933 after 3 goals in 111 appearances for The Royals, joining Queen of the South for their first season in the top division of Scottish football.
Allan played a prominent role in Queens achieving what remains their highest League finish, fourth in 1933-34 and became club captain. Among the scalps Queens took that season were double victories over Celtic, Hibernian and Hearts. They also reached the Scottish Cup quarter finals before losing to two deflected goals at St Johnstone. Allan was also a part of the George McLachlan managed 1936 Summer tour to France, Luxembourg, and Algeria, and was involved in several of their other successes in the mid 1930’s, but Queens appears to have been his final club before his retirement.