Newburn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne born centre forward Jack Allen started his football career with Prudhoe Castle in 1921 from where he was signed by Second Division Leeds United in February 1922, making his Football League debut at Fulham in March 1924, but he only managed two first team appearances for them in the run in to their 1924 Second Division Championship before moving on to Third Division (South) Brentford in August 1924. At Griffin Park he scored 14 times in his debut season and was the club’s top scorer, and he went on to score 28 goals in 61 appearances for The Bees including an FA Cup hat-trick at Oldham Athletic in January 1927 before he was signed for Herbert Chapman’s Sheffield Wednesday in March 1927. Initially he struggled to break through on a regular basis but he came back into the team in March 1928 having scored only 5 times in his first 13 appearances, after which he lit the blue touch paper.
He scored 33 goals in each of the 1928-29 and 1929-30 back to back League Championship winning seasons and was certainly very unlucky not to have been picked for England. In 1928-29 he scored all three goals against Birmingham City followed by all four goals at Bury in successive matches in October 1928, finishing 19 goals ahead of Mark Hooper in the Wednesday goalscoring charts with 35 for the season. In 1929-30 he scored 39 goals including 6 in their FA Cup run that saw them lose to Huddersfield Town in the 1930 FA Cup semi final at Old Trafford. His total included a four goal haul against Manchester United and hat-tricks against Leicester City and Derby County.
He scored 85 goals in 114 appearances for The Owls before signing for home town club Newcastle United in June 1931. In his first season back on Tyneside scored both goals in their 1932 FA Cup Final win over Arsenal at Wembley, having scored five times in their run to the Final including a quarter final hat-trick in their 5-0 victory over Watford and the winner in their semi final win over Chelsea at Leeds Road, Huddersfield. He was Newcastle’s leading scorer in 1932-33 with 19 goals but lost his place in November 1933 during what would prove to be their relegation season of 1933-34, and he played only four more games for The Magpies, before, having totalled 41 goals in 91 appearances, he signed for Bristol Rovers in November 1934. But he only played 7 matches for The Pirates, scoring twice, before returning to Tyneside the following August to sign for Gateshead, where he netted a dozen times in 24 appearances in 1935-36 before finishing his career at non league Ashington, whom he joined in the 1936 close season.
His younger brother Ralph was also a centre forward who produced his own feats of prolific goalscoring notably for Charlton Athletic and Northampton Town, also playing for Fulham, Brentford, Reading and Torquay United.