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Tony "Tucker" Allen

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Tony "Tucker" Allen's Great Contributions to Blackrock Soccer Clubs Recognised

@ Blackrock Online  

Tony “Tucker” Allen’s association with Avondale United and Ringmahon Rangers, is the motivation to incorporate the famous former Cork soccer player and manager into our ‘Blackrock Online People of Distinction’ soccer category.


A Cork soccer player of renown, people of senior age status will have little memory loss recalling a heavyweight defender who commanded in-rushing forwards. Tony “Tucker” Allen always stood firm and clearing his lines was uppermost on his mind at all times. He was one of Cork’s most popular and fearsome players of his generation.

Tony started out his career with Tower Rovers winning an under 14 medal in 1953 and he proceeded to play minor also before Cork Hibernians came calling in 1959/60 season. That happened to be the same year when the former Glasgow Celtic legend, Charlie Tully, also signed for Hibs.

Corkman, Tony Allen had the honour of captaining Cork Hibernians in the 1963 F.A.I. Cup final V Shelbourne, a match where Hibs succumbed to the superior Shels side. The occasion presented Tony with the honour of becoming the youngest ever F.A.I. Cup Final captain. In 1963 he also had the distinction of winning an Irish cap when chosen for the League of Ireland national team V The Irish League.

Excellent displays in 1963 caught the attention of Bristol City and the English club brought Tony over on a months trial. However Bristol and Tony decided English football was not his favoured choice and Cork Hibs gladly welcomed their fast rising star defender back to Leeside.

In 19667/67 Tony swapped the Hibs green jersey for the Cork Celtic orange colours, but again life at The Cross was short lived. After just one season with Celtic, Tony made a move to Blackrock and Ringmahon Rangers. With Rangers the club were pitted against the mighty Shamrock Rovers in the F.A.I. Cup, a match played at Glenmalure Park, Milltown, Dublin, and Rangers, with the formidable John “Bootsie” Lynch also in their ranks, came away from Milltown out of the competition.

League of Ireland football again beckoned in 1970 when Cork Celtic welcomed the teak tough central defender back to their ranks and on this journey he remained a Celtic player the 1972/73 season. A remarkable change of direction was coming down the tracks for Tony Allen, when in season 1976/77 Avondale United appointed the former League of Ireland star player, as the clubs senior manager. The Dale, under Tony, won the A.U.L. Mall Tavern Cup and also The Presidents Cup and the club also competed in the A.O.H. Cup final that same season. However St. Marys beat The Dale in that latter Cup final after a replay.

Guided Two Clubs to History in Successive seasons:

In season 1977/78 Avondale United decided to enter The Munster Senior League and in their inaugural year reached the F.A.I. Intermediate Cup final. Their final opponents were A.I.B. of Dublin in a game played at St. Colman’s Park, home of Cobh Ramblers. In a remarkable achievement, Tony Allen and The Dale beat their Dublin opponents 3 – 1 to win the clubs first ever F.A.I. Intermediate Cup title. For further good measure, Dale took on Galway Rovers in the F.A.I. Senior Cup in a match played at Turners Cross, but lost 2-0 on the day.

Tony made a surprise resignation to leave the Dale manager's job and decided to take up a Cobh Ramblers offer to become their senior manager for the 1979/80 season. The southside city club were not expecting such a move after such a glorious season a few months before had delivered a historic triumph.

In a remarkable achievement, Tony “Tucker” Allen again weaved his magic managerial skills and also guided the Ramblers to their first ever F.A.I. Intermediate Cup title. The manager had now steered in successive seasons, Avondale and Ramblers, to unprecedented successes in their club histories. Also in 1979/80, Ramblers claimed the Munster Senior Cup. However the latter final was not played due to a dispute with Limerick F.C. over the venue. The Munster Football Association duly awarded the title to Ramblers.

Tony Allen's name in Cork soccer is in many Hall of Fame galleries and as he played so much of his soccer career at the former Flower Lodge venue in the colours of Cork Hibernians, many will testify that he was one of Cork's most endearing players. We welcome the incorporation of Tony "Tucker" Allen into our Blackrock Online People of Distinction...Sports Category.

Michael Casey

Soccer Correspondent @ Blackrock Online

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