It was recorded in the recent Middlesbrough home programme that Albert ‘Albie’ Allum had sadly passed away.
‘Albie’ was born on 15th October 1930 and grew up in Dalgarno Gardens, North Kensington.
He started his football career with Hereford United and then moved on to Brentford, before joining Dover.
Rangers signed him in June 1957 and he made his 1st team debut at Colchester a few months later on 2nd September.
Floodlights weren’t compulsory at the time and the story goes that the score was level at 1-1 with just a minute to go. Apparently it was so gloomy that Ron Springett never saw Colchester’s very late winner!
‘Albie’ didn’t feature again for the 1st team but he did play in 11 reserve games that season, scoring five goals.
His time at Rangers was brief and the reasons for this were explained in an interview that appeared in the West London Observer on 6th December:
Answer: Manager Jack Taylor thought Allum was a “lazy” player. At least that is the version given to me in an exclusive interview at his home at Dalgarno Gardens, North Kensington, this week.
Twenty-six years-old Allum had been starring with Southern Leaguers Hereford and Kent League side Dover, after turning down offers from West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea.
At the beginning of this season Allum joined Rangers. “My wife Jean was having a baby and I wanted to be near her,” explained Allum.
“I also thought I had a good chance of making Rangers’ first team.” What went wrong?
Said Allum: “After only one 1st team game against Colchester I was dropped. I feel that if we had come away with a point instead of losing 2-1, I would have kept my place. I think I was made a scapegoat for that defeat.”
“Then when the Reserves played Brentford Reserves the team was announced as Tomkys or Allum. When I saw Mr Taylor he said Tomkys would probably not be able to get away for the game. But he did and he played.”
“When I saw Mr Taylor on the following Monday he said I was a lazy player. I was furious and asked for my release.”
“In the Kent League I’ve been told I have a reputation as a hard grafter.” Dover were only too glad to get Allum back.
Is Allum sorry to leave League football after his brief experience?
“In a way but its more profitable in non-League football you know,” he said. “Or at least my bank book tells me so. With Rangers I was earning £16 in the first team and £14 in the Reserves.”
“So with winning bonuses the most I could earn was £20 and £16. With a non-League club you have two pay-packets.”
“Before I joined Rangers I was a painter and decorator and I plan to start a small business now.”
What has Mr Taylor got to say about it? “No Comment”, was his reply.’
May he Rest in Peace.
(My thanks to Colin Woodley for sending me the interview. The pic was taken during the first day of training and Albert is shown next to manager Jack Taylor on the far left)