A fine, stylish, defensive pivot, Allan Sliman began with Arthurlie, a Scottish Division Three side,
before Bristol City brought him south in 1928. Ashton Gate became a regular calling-point for scouts who filled notebooks with stuff about Allan. Perceived weaknesses in his attacking game caused First division sides to hesitate and Chesterfield were the first to make a conclusive move, despite not having scouted him prior to signing.
Allan's performance against them at Saltergate in February 1932 persuaded The Spireites to lay down £1738 to secure his signature, being a £1500 transfer fee and the player's share of benefit payments due from City. It was a bold, ambitious move by Chesterfield, but Sliman's recruitment paid off handsomely for the club. He was also the only player on the League's maximum wage at Saltergate for much of his time here.
Allan's fee was the highest paid by Chesterfield for a
player at the time, but it was money well spent. Tall, imposing and with the
presence to dominate opponents without recourse to the physical stuff, he was
the foundation on which a side was built to win the Northern Section in '35-6
and establish a place as a Second Division team.
The brother of Richard (an amateur with Bristol City and the
Spireites), he was consistently rated by opponents as the best in his position
in Division Three (North) and continues to be regarded as one of the Saltergate
greats by older supporters. When age began to reduce his effectiveness he moved
to Chelmsford City, an ambitious Southern League outfit, becoming their
Player/manager in October 1938, and the club enjoyed a fine FA Cup run under
On the outbreak of war he resumed his former trade of carpenter before returning to Scotland in 1943 and joining the RAF. Promoted to Flight Sergeant, He became a flight engineer with the 75th. (NZ) Squadron. Posted to RAF Mepal, in Cambridgeshire, Allan and his crew arrived on April 1st, 1945, and flew their first operational mission on the night of 14th/15th April, with Potsdam as the target. For Allan, it would be his only mission; on the way back his aircraft was set upon by fighters and he was mortally wounded. He passed away that night in a Cambridgeshire hospital and is buried in Chelmsford.
For more information about the 75th (NZ) Squadron see this website.
For Chesterfield: 241 League appearances, 9 goals.