One of football's most colourful characters, Allison was an unmistakable figure with his fedora hat, cigars and champagne.

A fine centre-half for Charlton and West Ham in his playing days, he was forced to retire at the age of 31 after contracting tuberculosis and having a lung removed. 

His first management job was with Plymouth in 1964, where he took the team to the semi-final of the League Cup before clashing with the board and leaving to become Joe Mercer's right-hand man at Manchester City. 

The team enjoyed huge success and when Mercer left to become Coventry City manager, Allison was the natural choice as his successor. But before the end of the season he left Maine Road to take over as boss at Crystal Palace. It was a Palace where he was photographed in the dressing room bath with adult movie actress Fiona Richmond.

He returned briefly to Plymouth and then back to Manchester City in July 1979. Despite spending a fortune on players, there was no return to the glory days and Allison was sacked early in the 1980-81 season. 

After another brief return to Plymouth, he was off to Portugal where he took Sporting Lisbon to a league and cup double before being controversially dismissed in 1982. 

Three months later he broke his promise never to return to league management by signing a two-year contract with Middlesbrough. 

But Boro's decline continued, with no money for new players and dwindling attendances. Allison unveiled a bizarre plan to rename the club the Cleveland Cowboys and for the club to play on an orange astro-turf pitch. Thankfully, neither proposal came to fruition. Boro ended the 1982/83 season in 16th place, avoiding a second successive relegation, but the campaign after proved an even greater struggle.

Boro finished 16th in 1982/83 and avoided relegation

During his 18-month tenure at Ayresome Park, he turned future legend Tony Mowbray into a first team regular and gave a debut to combative midfielder Gary Hamilton. He also signed keeper Stephen Pears on loan from Manchester United.

But under pressure to sell players, and with the club battling against the drop, he controversially responded by saying: "It's better for the club to die than to linger on, and on March 28 1984 he was sacked. 

In the late 1990s Allison returned to Teesside as a summariser on Century FM alongside Alastair Brownlee, but controversy continued to follow him and he lost his job after swearing on air.

He passed away at the age of 83 in 2010.