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From the archive, first published Thursday 15th Jul 1999.
PORTSMOUTH have smashed their transfer record to sign striker Rory Allen for £1 mil-lion from Tottenham.
The 21-year-old passed a medical yesterday and will pull on a blue shirt for the first time in this Saturday's friendly at Weymouth.
The fee surpasses the £650,000 paid by Jim Smith for Gerry Creaney from Celtic in 1995 and demonstrates the extent of the ambition shown by the club's new owner Milan Mandaric, who has already backed the signings of Jason Crowe, Jason Cundy, Guy Whittingham and Andy Petterson.
"These are exciting times for me and the supporters of Portsmouth," said manager Alan Ball. "Rory wants his chance and I'm delighted to be able to be able to give it to him."
Allen, an England Under-21 international, has agreed a four-year deal after being told he would not figure in Spurs manager George Graham's plans at White Hart Lane.
He said: "I don't see this move as a step down but a great opportunity to show exactly what my capabilities as a striker are."
Ironically Allen's signing coincided with a change of heart from Everton frontman Michael Branch who decided - too late - that he wanted to move to Fratton Park after all.
Ball, who switched his attentions to Allen because Branch was demanding too much money, said: "Michael had his opportunity, but we had to move on."
Converted for the new archive on 25 January 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.