I’ve got my man back - that was the message from Lynne Turner as she unveiled the statue to her late husband Chris in front of a large crowd outside the ABAX Stadium.
Despite it being 3pm on a Friday there were hundreds of people stood near the ticket office for the unveiling of a Peterborough colossus, a man who played 364 times for the club he loved then returned to deliver back-to-back promotions and take Posh to the second division for the first time.
First among the throng of Posh fans was an emotional Lynne who was delighted with the bronze statue put together by renowned sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn which is based on a photo of Chris at Wembley in 1992 giving his thumbs up to the crowd.
She said: “It’s lovely, it looks like him. I’m very proud of it all. I have my man back and he’s at London Road.”
More than £100,000 was raised in 18 months to get the statue made thanks to the efforts of The Chris Turner Statue Fund which held a series of fundraising events including a match between Posh and Cambridge United.
Lynne was full of praise for the statue fund committee and overwhelmed by the number of people who had come out to see the big unveiling, which included a speech from former player Bobby Barnes.
She added: “I’m grateful for all the fans. Chris would be humbled and proud right now.”
Player - captain - manager - chairman. The words at the front of the statue are a fitting epitaph to Chris, who passed away on April 27, 2015, aged 64, after a battle with dementia.
Adi Mowles, chairman of the statue fund committee, said: “The statue is exactly as we wanted it. It’s magnificent.”
“I’m very proud and delighted that we have reached this day. It means a lot to the city and the football club.”
As they were at his funeral at Peterborough Cathedral, Chris’ former team-mates were fulsome in their praise of the Posh legend.
David Gregory, who played with Chris in the 70s, said: “When I first came to Peterborough Chris was the first player to come over to me and welcome me to the football club. He meant a lot to me.
“You could always rely on Chris - he was a great person.”
Striker John Cozens won the 4th Division with Chris in 1974. He said he was a person respected by the fellow and supporters, adding: “They have shown their respects by installing this statue for him and he will be here forever.”
John Walker, who was youth team manager when Chris led the club to play-off glory at in 1992, said: “Chris to me was an immense man and someone I will never, ever forget. He welcomed everybody into the club and he was so respected.”
One of the fans who came out for the day was 64-year-old Brian Parker. He said: “He loved the club and the fans loved him. He was approachable and he was a legend. We will always come out for someone like that.”