RIDER LINKS: Son of Dave Allen (born: 4 July 1957, Norwich, Norfolk). Brother of Tommy Allen (born: 4 September 1984, Norwich, Norfolk).
2012 STARTING AVERAGE: 6.31 (EL).
Allen received a serious injury to the right hand whilst riding for Swindon in a Knock-Out Cup tie at Glasgow on 20 May 2001. The accident happened in a re-run heat ten, when he was sent sprawling after an over-zealous inside challenge from Stuart Swales on the third bend.
Although in obvious discomfort, Allen bravely participated in the second re-run but was subsequently excluded by referee Jim McGregor for not making a bona-fide attempt to race. He was to miss over two months of action while he regained fitness.
Allen re-broke his throttle hand during the British Under-21 Final at Sheffield on 18 April 2002. This occurred in the second semi-final, when Chris Harris cut back underneath him exiting the fourth bend, only to inadvertently knock his fellow countryman off when they clashed on the home straight.
Unluckily, Allen sustained a broken scaphoid when he spun and high-sided his machine on the third bend of heat one in a league match against the Isle of Wight at Swindon on 21 August 2003. And, after returning to the saddle, he suffered a recurrence of the injury when he crashed in the Pride of the East individual meeting at King’s Lynn on 25 September.
In 2004, Allen sustained a hefty knock in a tussle with Rafał Dobrucki of Oxford in Swindon’s first league match of the season at the Abbey Stadium on 8 April. This happened in heat eight, when the two riders clashed on the first bend and hurtled into the air safety barrier.
That was to be the start of a series of unfortunate accidents that year, which also included sustaining abdominal injuries in a home league match versus Arena-Essex on 17 June when, in heat seven, he collided with the air barrier on the second bend and took a blow in the stomach from his handlebars. Then, in an away match at Eastbourne on 6 September, he clashed with Steen Jensen on the back straight of heat fourteen and was catapulted through the safety fence and on to the concrete stock-car track.
On 6 April 2005, Allen received shoulder ligament damage when he was accidentally brought down by King’s Lynn colleague Jan Jaroš in a Premier Trophy match at home to Reading. The incident happened in heat seven, when the two team-mates collided and crashed into the safety fence on the third bend.
The 2007 campaign was blighted by a recurring shoulder injury for Allen, which saw him endure several spells on the sidelines in something of a stop-start season. This began when he was inadvertently taken off by Oxford’s Steve Johnston in heat three of a league engagement at Cowley on 2 April.
He did, however, play a part in what was a golden season for the Bees who scooped a fantastic treble, winning the League Championship, Knock-Out Cup and Craven Shield. In December that year, Coventry and Swindon concluded a direct swap deal that saw Allen join the Bees on a permanent basis, whilst Morten Risager became an asset of the Robins.
In 2008, Allen sustained three broken bones in his wrist in a crash in Poland on 1 May. This occurred whilst he was representing Grudziądz in a Division One fixture at Bydgoszcz when, in heat eleven, home rider Rafał Okoniewski caused the Brit to fall heavily. Allen entered his fourth successive season with Coventry in 2009 but, after a bright start to the campaign, he had the misfortune to sustain a broken tibia while again representing his Polish club, Grudziądz, in a league match versus Poznań on 3 May. Whilst he recuperated, the elder of the racing brothers was replaced by the returning Scott Nicholls on a short-term basis. Allen was to resume in the Bees’ line-up in July, when Nicholls was released to join Ipswich on loan. His testimonial meeting subsequently took place at Brandon Stadium on 23 August, when Jason Crump took the spoils of victory in an individual event. After the conclusion of the season – in December – it was announced that Ipswich had agreed a loan deal with Coventry for the Norwich-born rider’s services in 2010.
Allen was ruled out of action after a first-race crash with Darcy Ward during the Witches’ league visit to Poole on 9 June. He returned to action a month later but, despite holding an average of 5.67 points per match courtesy of 98 points from twenty-one appearances, he was released in mid-July when the Ipswich management opted to sign Chris Słaboń in a bid to move away from the foot of the Elite League table.
Allen made a positive reaction to being dropped by putting himself right in the shop window courtesy of a second-place finish, behind Josef Franc, in the prestigious Scottish Open at Edinburgh on 23 July. And, in August, he returned to regular action as the No. 1 with Premier League King’s Lynn amidst an astonishing raft of changes at the Norfolk club.
The first move had seen Adam Roynon replace Joe Haines and this was immediately followed by another four amendments to their team declaration, as Casper Wortmann and Chris Mills were released, whilst the injured Kevin Doolan and the unwell Darren Mallett also had their names removed from the 1-7. Allen effectively replaced Doolan, with the other incoming riders being Lasse Bjerre, Jamie Courtney and Cal McDade.
Allen immediately slotted into a high-scoring groove for the Stars, quickly racing to an average in excess of 9 points per match. He was temporarily halted, though, when he piled-up in the initial running of heat one in the Northern Riders’ Championship at Sheffield on 9 September, suffering bruising and concussion.
By the season’s end, he had made thirteen appearances for the Norfolk outfit, scoring 128 points for an average of 8.72. At Saddlebow Road, his best performance came in a league encounter versus Redcar on 10 August, when he registered a paid maximum tally of 14+1 points. Away, Allen’s highlight was to rack-up 15+1 points from five starts at Stoke four days later; his score on the night enhanced by 6 points from an early tactical outing in heat five.
Following King’s Lynn’s decision to go Elite League, it was announced on 9 December that Allen would be remaining with the club for their new challenge in 2011. He was joined by Kenneth Bjerre, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Mads Korneliussen, Tomáš Topinka (D/up), Morten Risager (D/up), Sam Masters (D/up), Lasse Bjerre (D/up), Filip Šitera and Adam Roynon (No. 8) in the completed squad.
Allen made a great start to the campaign, but sustained another dislocated shoulder when the Stars entertained Eastbourne in a league fixture on 4 May. This occurred when he fell on the second bend of heat three and necessitated a two-week break from racing.
He proved to be a steady scorer for the Stars averaging in excess of six-points per match, but was delighted to sign a Peterborough contract for 2012 - a track where his career first began in 1997.