24 April 2008
Edinburgh “Accies” Hall of Fame
Glasgow-born, John Allan, CEO of the South African Rugby Legends Association, has been inducted into the Edinburgh Accies Hall of Fame with fellow great Scottish rugby players.
The oldest rugby club in Scotland and the second oldest in the world, the Edinburgh Academical Football Club (Accies) has just passed the milestone of turning a century and a half old. As part of the celebrations they introduced ten players into their hall of fame last week. The Edinburgh Accies is proud that 105 of their players have reached international status.
Allan was a member of the Accies team from 1989 till 1992 having also played for the Scottish and UK Barbarians, London Scottish and for the Scottish national team in that time. One of the highlights of this chapter of rugby for Allan was the 1991 Rugby World Cup that was jointly hosted in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France. Allan played for Scotland and the team managed to reach the semi-finals where they took on England and lost in a nail-biting game, 6 – 9 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh. Another highlight was winning the Grand slam in 1990 by beating England in the final with both teams unbeaten, the motivating factor for Scotland was that their proud and popular National Anthem – Flower of Scotland – was sung for the first time at Murrayfield after being denied by law for 25 years.
Allan then travelled back to South Africa where he continued playing for the Sharks and donned the Springbok jersey for a total of 13 tests in the hooker position. His illustrious playing career spanned from 1981 – 1997 where he then made the transition to coaching and commentating.
His passion still overflows for the oval ball game and he is now running an initiative where he involves former rugby greats from South Africa and all around the world. The South African Rugby Legends Association was formed in 2003 and runs a number of programmes that give back to the grass roots and amateur aspect of the game. Allan through SARLA has managed to coach over 35000 children from around the country and through the fund-raising events has been able to inject over R20 Million Rand back into the development of rugby.
Nicknamed by his Scottish team mates, ‘Jok Bok’ and his Springbok team mates as Bokjock, Allan’s rugby CV includes:
South Africa 13 tests
Scotland 12 tests
Sharks 126 caps
UK Barbarians, Scottish Barbarians, SA Barbarians
Northern Hemisphere XV
To this day, Allan plays for the eLan Rugby Legends touring South Africa with fellow greats of the game on the quest to expand the wonderful game of rugby. They are currently the world champions having been crowned in both the World Rugby Legends Festival in 2006 and the 20th World Rugby Classics held in Bermuda last year.