Loving Couple - Curly Mo with wife Tracie

ALLAN LINDSAY – GREAT BLOKE – RUGBY JEWELL

ALLAN LINDSAY – GREAT BLOKE – RUGBY JEWELL

Allan Lindsay is rugby’s version of a rare opal. They are hard to find, rare and priceless when you find the best.

Loving Couple - Curly Mo with wife Tracie

Curly Mo, as he’s affectionately known to most, is all of those. He has made a huge contribution to rugby particularly in Canterbury and the West Coast and for the most part has flown under the radar, just the way he likes it.

As a player, the diminutive halfback with a slick pass good kicking game and an incisive runner, was part of Canterbury’s greatest Ranfurly Shield team coached by Alex (Grizz) Wyllie and Doug Bruce, a team which played a brand of attacking rugby which was exhilarating to watch.

Incredibly, Allan did not play a single minute of any of those Ranfurly Shield matches as he waited and waited and waited for an opportunity to go onto the field. The late Bruce Deans always started and Allan said apart from a couple times when he actually stood up and thought he might have to replace him, Deans was just so tough and resilient he never came off.

GREAT CANTERBURY SHIELD ERA One of the finest Canterbury rugby sides of all time, the 1983-85 Ranfurly Shield side of which Allan Lindsay was a member of

“Sometimes some of the boys would take it easy on a Saturday night after the game in case Grizz ordered a bonding session the next day.”

Reminiscing about that era, He said Grizz Wyllie had a great knack of getting the best out of players and knowing when and when not to put the foot down at training. In fact some of their bonding (drinking) sessions on a Sunday were legendary and Allan laughed, “Sometimes some of the boys would take it easy on a Saturday night after the game in case Grizz ordered a bonding session the next day.”

In fact Allan sat on the Canterbury subs bench for over 80 matches but did get to play 25 times for his beloved province after Auckland took the shield off Canterbury in that 1985 epic.

That he was prepared to sit on the subs bench that many times was typical of a man who is both humble and extremely loyal to the teams and club’s he’s been associated with, not to mention how much talent he had as a player.

Curly Mo

Out of the Shirley Rugby Club in Christchurch, he played a mammoth 272 senior matches, captaining the side in 1989 than again from 1991-96. 

He played four games for West Coast in 1996 but the highlight of his playing career was making a very good New Zealand sevens team for the Hong Kong tournament in  1983-84. From 1985-89 he also represented New Zealand at touch.

All Blacks Sevens

When time permitted his all-round sporting skills extended to cricket and I was lucky enough to play alongside hi at the Lancaster Park Club where his aggressive batting and brilliant fielding were to the fore.

After he hung up his boots as a player, Allan’s contribution to rugby became even greater. He coached Shirley, Linwood, Belfast and Lincoln University in the Christchurch senior competition.

At rep level he coached Canterbury Sub-Unions and Ellesmere and in 2013-14 coached West Coast to a very rare Seddon Shield triumph over Nelson Bays.

Allan Lindsay with the Seddon Shield
West Coast Rugby with the Seddon Shield.

2013-14 coached West Coast to a very rare Seddon Shield triumph over Nelson Bays.

He’s assisted at the Crusaders development programme mentoring halfbacks and he’s done most of this work and as a player, for the love of the game and not for money.

He often took on struggling sides to help make the players better and said he always enjoyed watching players improve with the right encouragement and coaching.

Nowadays, the hugely popular rugby fanatic lives in Dunedin with his wife Tracie where he’s also been involved in coaching.

It was great to catch up with an old mate and chat about his career and great to see that trademark smile still beaming out.

Interview & Words by John Alexander | Header Image taken by Tony Stretch. Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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