Managers Countdown: Les Allen

No.15 | Les Allen | Manager November 1972 to February 1974 | Score 258.1

From one Allen who was a club legend in the early 20th century, to manager No.14 Les Allen, who clearly doesn’t deserve to be this high in this countdown. That is despite Les’ own legendary status as a player with Spurs and QPR in the 1950s and 60s as well as his famous family tree, with sons Clive and Bradley and nephews Paul (for Swindon) and Martin playing professionally.

After a short spell managing QPR where he took Rangers to the top flight for the first time, Les retired and then joined Swindon as a Chief Scout.

Following Dave Mackay’s disastrous period in charge ended in his resignation, the cash strapped Board turned to Les Allen after Des Anderson left to join Mackay at Derby.

Les managed to salvage something from the 1972/73 season, keeping Town in Division Two in his first season with a 16th place finish, 3 points clear of relegated Huddersfield and Brighton.

The following season saw Town take 2 wins and a draw from the opening 3 games, only to plummet down the League from 2nd to 21st thanks to a run of eight winless games, scoring only a single goal. A home win against Oxford United temporarily put Town above their rivals, however from then onwards Les couldn’t get Town moving in the right direction as we failed to win any successive games.

By the end of February, Town had lost the last four games and were sitting bottom with 18 points from 32 played, 6 behind rivals Oxford in safety. Allen was sacked as relegation loomed large and the Board turned to 1969 hero Danny Williams to try to inspire the Club to save something from the season.

Ultimately the decision to replace Allen proved too late in the day with only 14 games remaining as Town dropped out of the second tier after only five seasons. Results certainly justified replacing Allen earlier, however much the same as we suffered under Danny Wilson last season, the damage had already been done.

Les Allen’s League record is awful with 0.92 points per game in the second tier comparing worse than Jimmy Quinn’s 0.95 some 26 years later. Les is only higher here because he managed a few cup victories, including a 2-0 win over Division One Birmingham City in the FA Cup 3rd Round in 1972/73. Perhaps my cup competition weightings are a tad generous…

Good, Bad or Ugly – Bad – Keeping Swindon in Division Two in his first season in charge was good, however what was to follow with 5 wins from 32 matches in 1973/74 was terrible for the club and sent Town down the Leagues, never to return to Division Two until 1987/88.

  • Leagues: 2 seasons in Division Two
  • FA Cup: 3 ties | Best 4th Round in 1972/73
  • League Cup:  2 ties | Best 3rd Round in 1973/74
  • Achievements: None
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
55 11 18 26 51 83 51 0.9 153.93 41.67 62.50


Click here for a full list of the managers in the countdown so far and their scores, including an explanation of how the scoring works.


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