TRIBUTES have been paid to a former police chief who died earlier this week.
John Allen collapsed while out for an early morning run near his Ludgvan home and despite resuscitation attempts, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 77-year-old was a well-known local figure, as chairman of the Ludgvan Horticultural Society, former chief superintendent of West Cornwall for Devon and Cornwall Police and also having played rugby for the county.
“By all accounts John was a firm but fair boss who loved his rugby and had the respect of many people in west Cornwall,” said East Cornwall superintendent John Green.
Mr Allen was found lying in Long Road, at around 6.35am on Monday.
His death has been described by police as non-suspicious and involved a health-related medical condition.
Mr Allen joined the police in 1957 when he was posted to Camborne. Working his way up through the ranks, he was based in a number of areas around the region before being promoted to west Cornwall chief superintendent in 1987. He retired from the force in 1992.
Away from work, he was known for his passion for rugby.
Playing for Camborne Rugby Club in the 1950s and 1960s, he also won 15 caps for the Cornwall county team.
Mr Allen also played for Cornwall and British police rugby sides as well as a Dorset team during his time as a second row forward, retiring from the sport in 1969 but then becoming a familiar face at Camborne home games.
In a statement from the local horticultural society, they said: “We were all stunned by the news. John had been chairman of the society for a number of years and a friend to many in the horticultural world and the village of Ludgvan Churchtown.
“He and his wife Anne were very generous in opening their garden to the public. He will be greatly missed by the society.”