FANS FUND: Chris Turner statue unveiling will be a highlight of the Peterborough United season

No matter what happens on the pitch, there is one guaranteed highlight for many Peterborough United fans in 2017-18.

Sunday, 6th August 2017, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:01 pm
Posh players had a whip round and donated to the Chris Turner Statue Fund. Fund chairman Adi Mowles is flanked by Michael Smith (left) and Jack Baldwin (right).

That will be the unveiling of the Chris Turner statue outside the ABAX Stadium on Friday, September 1.

The Peterborough Telegraph asked Adi Mowles, the chairman of the Chris Turner Statue Fund, to talk us through a supreme fund-raising effort . . .

“Less than two years ago a group of long-time Posh fans got together to make plans for an ambitious and, some would say, foolhardy project.

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Lynne Turner - the widow of Posh legend Chris Turner - on the pitch before a memorial game between Posh and Cambridge.

Something as massive as a statue for club legend Chris Turner was most certainly not something taken lightly and it has to be said that first committee meeting saw a few people seriously doubting it could ever be done or that it would take many years.

However, as has been proven, those of us who were adamant it would happen were right and by the end of that meeting the doubters too had been persuaded so it was all guns firing and from that very day there was no question whatsoever the project would succeed.

There are too many individuals or indeed businesses to mention although this will be done on the unveiling day via a specially commissioned programme.

The football club themselves have been kind enough to allow us to hold two bucket collections before, during and after matches and these two occasions have seen the two highest amounts ever collected totalling almost £5,000!

Lynne Turner - the widow of Posh legend Chris Turner - on the pitch before a memorial game between Posh and Cambridge.

The majority of the money collected,and it totals over £100,000 as of now, has been, as intended, raised and donated by the supporters.

One of the most successful ideas we have had has been The CT5 club which has seen over 140 people donating £10 per month, many of them have done so since the CT5’s inception.

For the fans by the fans has always been our wish and it has been the reason why things have progressed so quickly.

Race nights, quiz nights, Northern Soul evenings, two incredibly successful golf days (shared with that great charity the Freekicks Foundation), the aforementioned bucket collections, the selling of numerous bits of Posh memorabilia, raffles, auctions, a players’ donation, individual businessmen as well as local businesses, have all contributed to this amazing total.

Several other statue projects around the football world have been researched while we have been fundraising and much bigger clubs than us have taken a lot longer to raise the required funds than we have.That is a testament not only to Posh fans generosity but to the love and affection held for that Posh legend Chris Turner.

One worry we had at the start was how well known Chris and his exploits would be to the younger generation, but thankfully it seems parents and siblings have been very conscientious in educating the youngsters in their lives.

For us real oldies of course our memories of Chris began with him as a young centre-half taking over from the excellent John Wile who had left for pastures new.

We have been lucky enough to see him return many years later and become a Posh legend all over again.

What has been great however is those who remember Chris only as a manager are also perfectly aware of his playing career and so the project has indeed spanned three or four generations and it is hard to imagine anyone else who could have done this from our beloved club’s history.

The unveiling day on Friday, September 1 promises to become one of the greatest days that London Road has ever seen.

There are numerous events planned for the day with the aim being for all of them to be free for children in particular with several rides and football related games along the outside of the main stand.

The Venue bar will be open for a refreshing drink or two.

There will be lots of pre-publicity so get that afternoon off, dress in blue and come along to enjoy everything on offer and welcome Chris home once again.

It would be great to see as many of you there with your kids or grand-kids on what will be an historic day for the club, the fans, but also for our fantastic city.

Lastly on a personal note I would like to thank my fantastic committee for all their amazing efforts.”