Tom McAllister

All at Pollok F.C. were saddened to hear of the passing this week of former Match Secretary Tom McAllister at the age of 94.

Tom joined the Pollok committee in 1973 and gained experience on the match committee before succeeding Tom Gillies as Match Secretary in November 1977. In the days before the club had an officially appointed manager the Match Secretary was responsible for team affairs, and unfortunately Tom was unable to prevent ‘Lok dropping to the “B” Division at the end of the season.

Despite the relegation Tom was building a side which would be competitive, and this was demonstrated on 9th June 1978 when a late, late John Redburn goal saw ‘Lok defeat Cambuslang Rangers 4-3 to lift the Central League Cup.

Season 1978-9 saw Pollok bounce back immediately, comfortably winning the “B” Division by nine points and reaching the Scottish Junior Cup semi-final for only the second time in their history, losing 2-0 to Bo’ness United. By winning the “B” Division ‘Lok qualified for the Central League Championship play-offs, defeating Vale of Leven in the semi-final then Port Glasgow in the final to lift the Central League title for the first time.

1979-80 saw more silverware collected in the form of the Central League Cup and the Evening Times’ Cup Winners’ Cup, but this was small fry compared to the successes of the 1980-81 campaign. The “A” Division, Central League Championship, National Drybrough Cup and Evening Times’ Cup Winners’ Cup were four of the five trophies won over a remarkable 50-day spell. The fifth was the club’s first Scottish Junior Cup win in front of a crowd of 13,518 at Hampden Park, Norrie Fulton with the only goal of the game to defeat Arthurlie.

The following two seasons would be trophyless before Tom’s last triumph as Match Secretary when the Sectional League Cup was lifted on 9th November 1983, Larkhall Thistle losing out to a Stuart Stevenson goal. A Scottish Junior Cup quarter-final defeat to Baillieston on 7th April 1984 prompted Tom to resign his post as Match Secretary, which had been his stated intention at the end of that season anyway. Dick Brock had been brought in at the beginning of the season to assist Tom with a view to a smooth transition, and the club’s continued success throughout the decade showed how shrewd that move proved to be.

Tom remained on the Pollok committee until he moved to Newtonards in Northern Ireland, becoming a member of Ards Rangers, and being instrumental in bringing them over to Newlandsfield for a 2013 friendly which ‘Lok won 6-0.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tom’s family and friends at this sad time.