HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Benjamin Thomas ALLAN
|Date of Birth||15th October 1968|
Games 217 (Claremont 66, Hawthorn 98, Fremantle 47, Western Australia 6)
Goals 177 (Claremont 69, Hawthorn 72, Fremantle 34, Western Australia 2)
Honours: Hawthorn Premiership Player 1991, Hawthorn Fairest and Best 1991, All Australian 1993, 1994, Claremont Premiership player 1987, 1989, Simpson Medal 1988 (WA v SA), 1989 (WAFL Grand Final), Inaugural captain Fremantle Dockers 1995, West Australian Footballer of the Year 1995
The inaugural captain of the Fremantle Dockers was a brilliant midfielder with outstanding disposal skills by hand and foot, remarkable endurance and a superior ability to read the game. His greatest deeds were performed away from the regular gaze of his home state but his remarkable achievements over 3 WAFL and 7 AFL seasons before forced into an early retirement by a degenerative knee, rank him with the very best Western Australian players of the recent past.
Ben Allan enjoyed a remarkable 3 years in WAFL football after joining Claremont from Aquinas College in 1987. After debuting in Round 3 against East Fremantle in Mt Barker, he quickly gained a mortgage on the centre position and went on to experience premiership success in just his 18th league game when Claremont comfortably defeated Subiaco. In his second season the classy midfielder played every game and marked his debut in state colours with a Simpson medal winning performance against South Australia. In his third season he capped off a stellar season by winning his second Simpson medal in the Tigers convincing grand final win over South Fremantle and finished 5th in the Sandover medal count with 30 votes.
As one of the hottest prospects in the 1989 national draft he was surprisingly overlooked until selection 14 but a delighted Hawthorn swooped and were to be handsomely rewarded over the following five seasons. After a tough first season in which he managed only 6 senior appearances, Ben emerged as one of the most influential players in the competition and captured the Hawks fairest and best award in their powerful 1991 premiership winning campaign. With his deceptive pace and excellent handling and disposal skills, Allan remained one of the Hawks top possession winners over the following 3 seasons and his stature was enhanced with AFL All Australian selection in 1993 and 1994.
Although never a limelight seeker, Ben Allan was targeted by inaugural Fremantle coach Gerard Neesham as the clubs marquee signing and as the most experienced and decorated player in the initial 45 man squad, he was a highly popular pick as the Docker's first captain. His first season in the new colours bettered even the highest of expectations when he played all 22 games and won various media awards including the West Australian Footballer of the Year award. A debilitating knee injury began to take its toll in 1996 when Ben could only manage 8 appearances for Fremantle and he was forced to stand down as team captain prior to the 1997 season. In what was to be his final season he managed 17 games under duress but was an inspiration to his young team mates with his professionalism and commitment to training and fitness work while managing injury.
Unfortunately forced into retirement by his chronic knee condition at the age of only 29, Ben Allan has continued an extended contribution to the Fremantle Football Club at many different levels. He served as an assistant coach in 1988, interim senior coach for 13 games in 2001 and as a member elected board member since 2005. He has also been a respected commentator in the television, radio and print media and richly deserves the honour of becoming the first player from the Fremantle Football Club to be elevated to the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.