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Alister Allan MBE (1944- )                                                                                                                                  Back to HoF intro page

No. of Caps: 43 First: 1967        
  Last: 1994   CG & CSF Medals
Cap record         G S B
Commonwealth Games Prone 6 3 3 4
3P 4
Air 3
Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships Prone        
Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) Prone 2      
National Meeting Main 13      
Scottish Meeting Main 7      
NSRA Air Rifle Main 1      
Other Prone 3      
Air 4      

Jock (as he's known to many) is Scotland's most successful shooter in terms of medals won at Commonwealth Games and indeed has won more CG medals for Scotland than any other athlete in any sport. He competed in six consecutive Games from 1974 to 1994, returning with at least one medal from all except one of them.  He is a member of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002 at its inauguration.

He broke the world record for 60 shots prone in 1982 with 600.  He was World Prone Champion in 1978 and was also European Champion.  He has won Silver and Bronze Olympic medals.  He was awarded the MBE in 1989.

Jock was born in 1944 in Freuchie, Fife and learned to shoot in the Air Training Corps under the tutelage of Bob Normand (who kept, as Bob admitted, one page ahead in the book in the early days).  Bob turned out to be a pretty decent shooter too (capped once in the GB Dewar team), but Jock's shooting career took to the skies after he left to join the RAF (but with his feet mostly on the ground as a PT instructor). He shot for several civilian clubs at different times, and initially he specialised in prone only, winning the Earl Haig Scottish Championship six times (including four in a row from 1966, then twice more in 1973 and '74) before the Commonwealth and Olympic Games took over as his main ambitions.

His first Games were in 1974 in Christchurch, New Zealand where he was the only Scottish smallbore rifle shooter in the party, and he returned with the prone Bronze medal.  Then it was Edmonton in Canada in '78 accompanied by John Knowles, and this time he upgraded to the Gold medal.  It was around this time that he realised that if he could shoot more disciplines (i.e. 3-positions and air rifle) he would (a) get more shooting time and less hanging-around at the championships and (b) have more chance of winning medals.  So, he started training for 3P and air and was selected for the next Games in Brisbane to shoot in all three disciplines.  Ironically, this time success in prone eluded him, but his ambitions were vindicated as he won the individual Gold in 3P and the Pairs Gold in air rifle (with Bill MacNeil), plus Bronze in the 3P Pairs (again with Bill MacNeil).  Two Silver medals came his way at the Edinburgh Games of 1986, in prone and 3P and also he and Bill repeated their 3P Pairs act from Brisbane by taking the Bronze once again.  He drew a blank in Auckland in 1990 although he had been selected for all three events for the third time running, but his swansong in Victoria Canada in 1994 saw him pocket two more silver medals, this time in the 3P Individual and 3P Pairs (with Bill Murray).

Ten medals - 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze - more than any other Scot has achieved.

Al currently holds the Scottish record for 3-positions shooting with a score of 1169, and also the Olympic Final score of 1262.6.  He set these scores at a World Cup event in Zurich in 1990.

He had success in Olympic shooting also, winning Bronze in the 3P event in 1984 and Silver in 3P in 1988. He had the misfortune (or not, depends on how you look at it) to be a contemporary of the great English shooter Malcolm Cooper, and these two had some almighty tussles.  Both Jock's Olympic medals were won behind Malcolm.  They were great friends and great rivals and sparked each other to higher performances trying to beat each other. (Cooper died in 2001.)  Below is a photo (courtesy of The Rifleman) showing Malcolm and Al with their NSRA Gold Awards, presented in 1989 in recognition of their Olympic and other achievements for GB.

He won the British Championship for the Earl Roberts trophy twice, in 1977 and again the following year, one of only six winners to have retained the title.

He has a mischievous sense of humour and he and Cooper and Barry Dagger were always playing practical jokes on each other, and on team-mates as well.  You needed to on your toes to keep up with them.

He was made an Honorary Life Member of the SSRA in 19?? in recognition of his achievements for Scotland, and after his retirement from international shooting, Jock became a professional coach and is currently (2007) involved with the New Zealand national shooting squad after a few years with the Scotland set-up.

I remember back in the early 1970s at one Bisley National Meeting my friend Jim (who had known Al in the ATC) and I were behind the firing point as a rather windy detail ended.  There was one very late shot, just inside the time limit.  It was Al.  He came over to us and we told him to shoot faster next time.  He said "Right, next detail I bet you anything I'm first finished."  We watched, and he was  He won the competition. 

Another story concerned the Final of the Earl Haig in 1968.  Among the finalists were Al and Alec McConnell, and those two were shooting next to each other. When it came to the last card of the three he thought they were jointly in the lead, and as Alec was shooting quite quickly, Al stopped shooting half-way through his card and watched Alec finish his.  That let him know exactly what he had to score in order (as he thought it) to win, and he did exactly that, won by one point and Alec was a joint runner-up with someone else Al wasn't aware of. Cheeky or what, but it took some nerve and super-confidence in his own abilities.

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June 2007

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