Turner Bert Image 2 Charlton Athletic 1946

Turner Bert Image 2 Charlton Athletic 1946


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Brithdir, Caerphilly born right back Bert Turner joined the Welsh Regiment where he had a reputation as an all-round sportsman winning medals for rugby, athletics and hockey with Army teams, as well as playing football. On leaving the army, he played for Brithdir in 1932 from where after a trial he was signed by Third Division (South) Charlton Athletic in August 1933, making his Football League debut at Norwich City in November the same year. Initially a centre half before the arrival of Don Welsh in February 1935 led to him being moved to right back, and he played 27 League games as Charlton won the 1935 Third Division (South) Championship. The team that manager Jimmy Seed had assembled went on to finish as runners-up in the Second Division in 1936, thus achieving back-to-back promotions.

In their first season in Division One, Charlton finished in the runners-up spot, missing the League title by only three points to champions Manchester City, with the meanest defence in the division conceding only 49 goals in 42 games.

By now, Turner’s club form had brought him to the notice of the Welsh selectors and he made his international debut in a 2-1 victory over England at Ninian Park on 17th October 1936. Wales followed this with victories over Scotland and Ireland to comfortably claim the 1937 British Home Championship. Turner made a total of eight appearances for Wales prior to the Second World War, with five victories and three defeats. He continued to turn out regularly for Wales during the early part of the war, making a further eight appearances in wartime internationals.

Turner continued to play regularly for Charlton up to the outbreak of the Second World War, as Charlton consolidated their place in the top flight with fourth place and third-place finishes in the next two seasons.

After the cessation of hostilities, Turner returned to Charlton Athletic, however there was no League football in 1945-46. The FA Cup was the main competition to be played this season; to make up for the lack of quality matches, all FA Cup rounds from round one up to and including the quarter-finals were made two-legged ties (rather than the traditional single matches) with the aggregate score determining who went through to the next round. After easy victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End and Brentford, Charlton met Bolton Wanderers in the semi-final. Bolton were still suffering from the after-effects of the Burnden Park disaster in which 33 spectators were killed as a result of overcrowding. Charlton won the semi-final 2-0 at Villa Park to set up a Cup Final against Derby County.

The Final was played at Wembley Stadium on 27th April 1946. The game was goalless until the 85th minute, when Jackie Stamps and a Charlton defender jumped up to head a centre from the right. As the ball was nodded out it went straight to Dally Duncan, who shot goalwards. Turner tried to kick the ball clear, but only managed to turn the ball into his own net. In the next minute Turner scored for his own side when he took a free-kick from the edge of the Rams’ penalty area, and although goalkeeper Vic Woodley appeared to have the shot well covered, the ball struck a Derby player and was deflected past Woodley into the opposite corner of the net to which he was diving.

Turner thus became the first player to score for both sides in an FA Cup Final, a feat subsequently repeated by Tommy Hutchison in 1981 and Gary Mabbutt in 1987. At the age of 36 years 312 days, Turner also became the oldest player to score in an FA Cup Final. The match finished level after 90 minutes, but in extra time Derby County scored three goals to win the match 4-1.

Turner played one more League season with Charlton, but was no longer a regular choice, and was used as cover for Peter Croker at right back or Herbert Johnson at right-half. Turner retired in 1947 after a 14-year Charlton career in which he made 199 appearances. Apart from the Cup Final goal, his only other goals were two penalties in 1937-38.

He moved to Dartford as player-coach in 1947 and in 1950 he spent a year in the Netherlands coaching Dortrecht FC. He then left for Sweden where he coached Malmö FF and Kalmar FF until 1956.



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