Cardenden, Fife born left back John “Jock” Allan began his football career with Bowhill Thistle in 1908 before joining Clackmannan in 1909. His first foray into senior football came with Hibernian in 1910, Allan making his Scottish League debut against Celtic that September, but he only featured once more for Hibs, playing a week later against Rangers, both games finishing in 4-0 defeats for Hibs. Allan joined East Fife in 1911, playing two seasons for The Fifers and doing well enough to attract the attention of English clubs, and he was duly signed by Second Division Bury in May 1913. Allan made his Football League debut at Barnsley on Boxing Day 1913 and played 19 matches before the end of his debut season, being again a regular in The Shakers’ first eleven in the final final peacetime season before the onset of the First World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football in the summer of 1915.
Once the War had ended, Allan returned to Gigg Lane and was ever present in their 1919-20 campaign, the first post war season. He lost his place in The Shakers’ line up in October 1921 and played 5 further matches in January and February 1922 before leaving Bury in the summer, joining Reading in July 1922 after a single goal, scored in a win over Arsenal in December 1914, in 141 appearances for Bury. He had a single season at Elm Park, being ever present as they finished 19th in the Third Division (South), but he was implicated in a bribery scandal involving players and officials of Bury and Coventry City, reliving a life suspension from The Football Association in May 1923, after which he crossed the Atlantic and joined J&P Coats of Pawtucket in the nascent American Soccer League, playing three full seasons for The Threadmen before his retirement.
NB the image is taken from a team photograph ahead of the match at St Andrews, Birmingham on 5th March 1921, which Birmingham went on to win 4-0 en route to their winning the Second Division Championship.