Explore the incredible experiences, chance encounters and special moments that shape our supporters in Member Stories, presented by Lifeblood

Born in South Melbourne in 1950 Frank Allan was destined to be a Bloods supporter. Welcomed into the world with grandparents and a mother who barracked for the red and white, it was only natural his first job was on match days for the club.

“As a teenage my grandfather secured me a paid job as the official in charge of the front of the members stand, where reserve players could come and watch the main game,” Allan told Sydney Swans Media.

It was where Allan brushed shoulders with the likes of Bobby Skilton, Peter Bedford, John Rantall, Ronnie Clegg, Fred Way and John Sudholz. It was also where he ran into trouble with other officials – on one occasion he was found complaining about umpiring calls.

“At one game the club secretary - I think his name was Harry Rogers – approached me and said the official VFL observer complained that it was inappropriate for an official in white coat to be abusing the umpires so much,” he reflected.

“The players sitting around me had a good laugh and Harry said, ‘I’ve told you. Carry on’.”

You could say Allan lived and breathed the Bloods values. Not only was he clearly passionate from the boundary, but brought a similar commitment to his role as a blood donor.

During the early seventies Allan worked at St Vincent’s Hospital as an orderly, before completing training as a registered nurse between 1973 – 76. Amid his time in medicine Allan was a regular blood donor.

Now retired in Adelaide, Allan went on to pursue a career in electronics in the Australian defence industry and travelled across the country in different roles. In 1999 he developed a heart condition requiring major surgery.

“I started to develop chest pain and after investigation I was found to have three significant cardiac artery narrowings,” Allan reflected.

“On July 1 that year I had a triple coronary artery bypass at Calvary Wakefield.”

Donated blood saved his life.  Allan’s recovery went so well that in the early 2000s he was able to pick up competitive volleyball and tenpin bowling. Several years ago, Allan also resumed donating blood, recently reaching a milestone of 40 blood and plasma donations.

“I am getting to return some of the blood which saved my life during my operation, and hopefully, I can save someone else’s life.”

He added, “It’s a simple thing to do, but the results can be so powerful… I hope my story inspires others to give blood.”

As for his support of the Sydney Swans, Allan continues to be a proud member from South Australia.

“They were part of me growing up… real supporters don’t give up.”