WHL, Loftus Rd, Upton Park… The Allen Football Dynasty Simply Grows
There are a number of football families, from twin brothers playing on either flank for Manchester United like Fabio and Rafael, to a father and son who are both managers of professional league clubs – Sir Alex and Darren Ferguson. Brothers Rio and Anton Ferdinand boast former England striker Les Ferdinand as a cousin and who can forget Gary and Phil Neville?
However, there is one family that boasts a huge football dynasty and that is the Allen family, who have 3 generations of professional footballers to their name which expands for nearly fifty years!
Let’s start with the eldest of the Allen family, with Les and Dennis Allen. Les Allen was an amateur footballer from East London before being signed by Chelsea in 1954, where he started to make a name for himself as a centre-forward. By 1959 he moved onto Tottenham Hotspur and was a member of Spurs’ double winning side of the 1960-1961 season and scored 47 goals in 119 appearances over several years. He formed a lethal partnership with up front for Tottenham with Bobby Smith but was eventually replaced by the arrival of Jimmy Greaves.
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Les moved on to his third London club with Third Division side Queens Park Rangers in 1965 and went onto win the Third Division title in 1967 as well as the League Cup in a 3-2 victory over First Division West Bromwich Albion at Wembley. Les became player-manager a year later, guiding Rangers into the top flight for the first time in their history but they were relegated after one season and he left the club in 1971.
He went onto manage Swindon Town for two seasons in the Seventies but was unsuccessful and also spent time managing in Greece with Salonika. His ties with Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers were later renewed by sons, Clive and Bradley. Les, now 73, is a model manufacturer and has homes with his wife in Essex and Cyprus.
Les’ younger brother Dennis Allen did not enjoy as much success in football but still played at a competitive level. Starting off at Charlton Athletic in 1957 to 1961 before moving onto Reading where he enjoyed a 9 year spell playing 336 games and scoring 85 goals as a Inside Forward.
After the long spell for the Royals, he went onto play for Bournemouth and Belgian side Oostende. Sadly, Dennis passed away in August 1995 (aged 56) but his legacy is lived on with son Martin.
Whilst there are no immediate records of Les and Dennis’ brother Ron Allen playing professional football, his son Paul also joined his cousins as successful pro footballers.