Tommy Robson reckons a city as well as a football club should be mourning the death today (April 27) of Peterborough United legend Chris Turner.
Turner (64) passed away in his Wisbech care home after a long battle against dementia. He was a former player, captain, manager, chairman and owner of Posh.
Robson, who joined Posh in the same year as Turner, paid his respects to a man he described as ‘the greatest’ both in person this morning and in an interview with the Peterborough Telegraph tonight.
“Chris Turner wasn’t just a Peterborough United legend, he was a Peterborough legend,” Robson said. “The things he achieved as a player and a manager were simply phenomenal. No-one will ever come close to matching his record.
“And he wasn’t just a great football man, he was a great person. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Chris both during may career and after it and I was privileged to know him and call him my friend.
“I went to see him with Jack Carmichael (another long-serving Posh player) today and I’m glad I saw him one last time.
“We joined Posh at the same time. He was 16 and I was 22 and he’d always be asking me to send crosses into the penalty area after training just so he could head them away. We spent hours doing it and he became a ferocious header of the ball.
“But people didn’t always appreciate how good he was on the deck as well. Chris could strike a ball as well as anyone I ever played with and that’s one of the reasons why he occasionally played up front and scored so many goals for a defender.
“In my opinion Chris was the best centre-half I ever played with. John Wile was as good as Chris in the air, but Chris was much better than him with the ball at his feet. He was a giant in the team that won the Division Four title in 1973-74.
“Of course he left for better things in the end, but he came back as a manager and was even more successful. He put the city as well as the football team on the map by taking Posh into the old Division One with a team that hardly cost a penny.
“He used to make me laugh because he used to insist the players trained harder than he ever did! He was one of the worst trainers himself when his career took off. Whenever we ran he would jog around at the back, but he insisted he would always be ready for match day and he always was.
“He was a great manager who didn’t suffer idiots. He would be decisive and he would be strong. Winning at Wembley in 1992 to reach the old first division was one of the greatest days in Posh history and Chris made it possible by turning the likes of Ken Charley and Mick Halsall into world beaters. It was a truly astonishing achievement.
“There can’t be many people in football in the country to have become captain, manager and chairman of the same club. Chris took all the jobs on and gave 100 per cent quite simply because he loved Peterborough United.
“It’s a sad day for everyone who loves Posh.”
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony has paid his respects tonight. He said: “I have just been informed that sadly the great Chris Turner has tragically passed away. Thoughts, love & support go out to the Turner Family.”
Former Posh player Adam Drury, who went on to play for Norwich City in the Premier League, added: “RIP Chris Turner. Great guy, hard as nails, honest, genuine, had time for everyone and was a massive influence on my career.”
Robson holds the record for most Posh appearances with 559. Turner is fourth on the list with 364