Turner Bill Image 3 Southampton 1923

Turner Bill Image 3 Southampton 1923


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South Moor, County Durham born left half Bill Turner played his early football with various clubs in North East England, including Dipton United in 1916, Scotswood in 1917 and Leadgate Park om 1918. His professional career was delayed by the First World War but in September 1919 he moved to the South Coast to join Southern League, Southampton for a fee of £200. He made his Saints debut on 8th November 1919 in a 4-0 victory (with three goals from Bill Rawlings) over Southend United when he took over at left back from Fred Titmuss. Following injuries to half backs, George Bradburn and Reg Hackett in March 1920, Turner was moved forward to left-half, a position he retained for the rest of his professional career.

In 1920, the Saints were elected to the Football League Third Division for its inaugural season, in which Turner was ever-present. Although they finished second in the League, Southampton missed out on the only promotion spot to Crystal Palace. Under manager Jimmy McIntyre, Saints went one better in 1921-22, finishing equal on points with Plymouth Argyle but with a superior goal average, with Turner once again ever-present and he scored his only career goal during the campaign in a 3-0 win over Brighton at the end of September. He was the only member of the promotion side who cost Southampton a fee, with Saints conceding only 21 goals. This total of goals conceded in a 42 match season was a Football League record which stood until 1979 and remains a record for Southampton.

The half back line of Bert Shelley, Alec Campbell and Turner cemented Saints place in the Second Division over the next few years, until Turner lost his place to Arthur Bradford in April 1924, in the same month he transferred to the First Division Bury with Stan Woodhouse and John Callagher moving to the south coast as part of the deal – in his five seasons at The Dell, Turner made 186 appearances, scoring once.

Turner was ever-present for the 1924-25 season as Bury finished fifth in the table, followed up by a fourth-place finish in 1926. In the 1926-27 season injury restricted Turner to five appearances, as manager James Hunter tried several players at left half, with the team finishing just above the relegation zone. After three years of dependable service and 80 appearances under his belt for The Shakers, Turner returned to the Third Division South in 1927, spending one season with Queens Park Rangers making a further 39 appearances before retiring in the summer of 1928.





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