Alister Allan was born in the small village of Freuchie in Scotland and learnt to shoot as a youngster with the Air Training Corps. He won his first Scottish title in the prone discipline of the small bore rifle event at the age of 22 in 1966 and was chosen for the 1968 Olympics in that event. He missed the Munich Olympics but returned to the Olympic arena in 1976 although without any great success.
The only global championship of his career came at the 1978 World Championship in the prone event but any hopes of an Olympic medal in Moscow were ended when shooting became one of the few British sports federations to join the boycott of the 1980 Olympics. Allan set a world record for the prone shoot in 1982 but success in this discipline always eluded him at the Olympic Games. Instead he won his first Olympic medal in Los Angeles in the three position shoot, an event that he had only taken seriously since the late 70s. Four years later in Seoul he led the qualifying rounds but was beaten to the gold by his fellow Briton [Malcolm Cooper] with whom he had friendly rivalry for many years. Allan’s international career lasted a quarter of a century and included eight medals (including three golds) at the Commonwealth Games between 1974-94. He spent most of his working life as a physical training instructor with the Royal Air Force but after retirement he took up a coaching position with the New Zealand rifle team. He was an inaugural inductee into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.