South Shields, County Durham born left back George Turnbull began his football career with South Shields Rosedale and after the end of the First World War he joined hometown Second Division club South Shields as an amateur, spending 1919-20 on their books without making their first eleven. Turnbull moved to Southern League club Ebbw Vale in 1920 and had a season in South Wales before returning to the north east to join newly eleceted Third Division (North) club Durham City in August 1921, his Football League debut coming in their inaugural League match, a 1-1 draw at Southport the same month.
Turnbull played two seasons for The Citizens making 55 appearances, and did well enough to attract First Division club Sunderland, who signed him in August 1923, but he spent 1923-24 at Roker Park without making the first eleven, joining non league club Spennymoor United in the summer of 1924. He returned to Football League action and to Durham City at the end of 1925 and made 22 further appearances for them from New Year’s Day to October 1926, when he was signed by Third Division (North) rivals Bradford Park Avenue.
He went straight into the Bradford first team and, playing 26 matches to the season end, helped Avenue to finish third in the division, But he wasn’t in the first team at the start of the new season, his place taken by new signing Tommy Lloyd, and he only made 3 further appearances as Park Avenue won the Third Division (North) Championship. His career after leaving Bradford is uncertain.