Give Chris recognition he deserves

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
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These days it seems that you only have to be famous for five minutes to get a Knighthood or a spot on Celebrity Squares with Warwick Davies.

People are famous for being famous without ever seeming to have a skill or a talent for anything, apart from of course, the desire to be recognised.

Joey Essex coughs in a funny way and they name a street after him-Kim Kardashian wiggles her overly generous derriere and a million people go wild on Youtube and somebody who was once on Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Holby City, Eastenders (delete as appropriate), gets 10 grand to wave her hand at Truckfest.

Maybe it says more about us than them, but it seems perverse to me that so many that are worthy of recognition and adoration, who have genuine expertise or who have given their all to society, are completely overlooked in this age of two bit celebrity.

Consider someone like Chris Turner.

Here was a man who gave his heart, soul, body and mind (quite literally), both on and off the field for Peterborough United.

A man who brought so much joy to the people of this city when he was a player, with his never say die, whole-hearted approach to the game.

A man who dragged a ragtag bunch of lower league footballers to Wembley as a manager and set them on the path to glory, a glory that no self respecting Posh fan from his blue and white army will ever forget, all done on a hundredth of the budget that Darren Ferguson had and with far more grace and good humour. This was a man who lit up a room when he walked in and had time for everyone, who was happy to share his humour and his huge zest for life with anyone he came across, whoever they may be.

His reward for helping create history for this city and it’s football club? Nothing, nada, rien.

There are no rooms named after him at the club, or statues in his honour. There are no roads around the ground that bear the Turner name and his trademark smile does not instantly greet you when you walk into London Road. It’s as if he has been airbrushed out of the city’s archive altogether.

Don’t get me wrong Chris isn’t dead, well not yet. No, he is sat in God’s waiting room, suffering in silence with dementia, caused it’s thought, in part, by heading those heavy, leather footballs back in the day – his commitment to the Posh cause was ultimately his downfall.

His wife Lynne, with close friends and family sit and suffer too, watching, week in week out, as slowly ebbs away before their very eyes and becomes a shadow of the man they and I once knew.

His infectious laughter has long since disappeared but his memory should not and we should not wait for his death to be used as an excuse to do something.

Chris’s disease is similar to that of West Brom legend, Jeff Astle, who sadly died in 2002 and his contribution to that club has been marked in a variety of ways, by the fans, the club and the setting up of a charity- the Jeff Astle Foundation. The club even organised Astle Day, where the team played at the Hawthorns in a replica strip from the 1968 FA Cup final, when the striker scored the winner.

Nothing on that scale has ever been done to honour Chris Turner who was as integral to survival of Peterborough United, as Jeff Astle ever was to the West Brom cause.

Of course it’s not a competition between the two but if ever a man deserved to be recognised for his achievements to Peterborough and it’s football club, it is Chris Turner.

He wouldn’t want me to write this article, he wouldn’t want the fuss and the bother and he couldn’t care less about recognition, that’s not what he was about.

But I for one think he deserves it and deserves it now.