Wrinkles may come and hair may go, but the love of lacrosse remains constant. And so it is with John Allen.
Born in Prince Rupert in 1943, John relocated with his parents to sleepy little Victoria where he was introduced to the game of lacrosse by, among others, his playmates Ranjit and Nirmal Dillon. After a 25-goal junior season in 1964, John graduated to the senior level with high hopes of wearing the Shamrock green.
"I wanted a shot at making the senior club", John recalled years later. "I went to a couple of gym workouts and then I was told there just wasn't any room on the roster for me. It was hard to believe. I hadn't even been given a chance".
Downhearted but not down, John traveled east to Ville St. Pierre of the Quebec Senior League where he won all-star ratings in each of his two years there. With the scoring title (112 points) under his belt, John returned to B.C. in 1967, certain that he could now crack that Victoria lineup. Same town…same team…same reception.
Although he managed only 18 goals for Coquitlam in 1967, it was good enough to earn him the Rookie-of-the Year honours. The following season, with Adanacs playing out of Portland, Oregon, John blossomed as the league's premier power-play creaseman, scoring 61 goals.
And so it went in Adanac history for the next nine years, with the exception of 1975 when he toiled for Boston in the Pro National League. In 356 games (54 in Boston, 7 in Victoria and the rest in an Adanac uniform), John amassed 542 goals and 453 assists for 995 points. He was a seven-time All-Star.
Many people helped John in his development as an outstanding athlete - Doug Fletcher and Tom Druce in particular - and John has strong feelings that he, too, should give something back to the game he loves. Since his retirement, he remained active in the game by playing in Master Tournaments (the old man's romp) and by coaching junior and senior teams in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Rossland and Surrey. He has also served as the Commissioner of the B.C. Major Junior Lacrosse League.
In 1988, one day after his 45th birthday, John was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.