A slight, but determined goal-scorer, Rory Allen was a talented player who had an enigmatic end to his football career.
Came through the Spurs ranks, starting as a 14 year old, signing professional as a 17 year old and played for England at youth levels, but the striker broke his leg in a South East Counties game – a 3-0 win over Gillingham – on Saturday 15th October 1994. On his recovery from that injury, he progressed through the ranks to the first team, but he only started to blossom when he went on loan to Luton Town and his goals helped keep the club safe from relegation. The Hatters were keen to keep Rory, but could not afford the transfer fee to make his move permanent.
With some big forward signings, Rory's appearances were going to be limited, so when Spurs received a bid of £1,000,000 for him in the summer of 1999 from Portsmouth they took it, despite originally wanting £500,000 more. Allen became Portsmouth's first £1 million player.
Allen played for Portsmouth until November 2002, when he decided to retire at the age of 25. Rory had suffered two broken legs and undergone eight operations to his ankles and knees and did not want to put himself through any more surgery. Walking out of Fratton Park with only a letter of resignation informing the club of his retirement after he failed to show up for training, Allen went off to watch the 2002-03 Ashes in Australia. In doing so, he forfeited the remaining eight months of his £3,000 a week contract.
Weymouth player-manager Steve Claridge tells a story that a man claiming to be Rory Allen contacted him in 2004 to arrange a trial and failed to turn up, but the player himself denies wanting to return to football. Spent time travelling and enjoying himself before settling into a new career as a civil servant with the Foreign Office.