From humble beginnings to four decades of longevity

April 2, 2018

in News

By Greg Danvers – National Media Manager

The Bill Turner Cup football (soccer) competition will celebrate its 40th continuous year of operation in 2018.

The high school knock-out competition, for Boys 15-years-and-under, was first contested in 1979 in the football state of Northern NSW.

In the Year 2000 the Northern NSW Schools Football, now known as Bill Turner School Football, took over the administration of the NSW based Girls competition, now known as the Bill Turner Trophy, is also for students 15-years-and-under.

Bill Turner was a music teacher at then Booragul High School, now know as Lake Macquarie High School, and was one of several teachers from the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle region who had the foresight to start a competition for the 15-years-and-under students.

The committee – Northern NSW Schools Soccer – was chaired by Bill Turner but an interesting twist was when Bill was not invited to a special meeting where the committee resolved to name the Cup after him.

Bill’s son, Lloyd Turner – now a prominent member of the Executive Committee – remembers this time.

“Soon after the ‘special and secret’ meeting the committee came to Bill and informed him of their decision to name the competition in his honour,” Lloyd recalls.

“Bill objected, like they knew he would, but the committee were one step ahead with the constitutional change. 

“Of course it was an incredible tribute and Bill was very moved and even more motivated.”

Northern NSW Football immediately endorsed the concept, which commenced with a modest 34 entries from the state and private schools in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region.

Belmont and Whitebridge High Schools met in the final at Crystal Palace Ground, Wallsend with Belmont 1-0 winners of the inaugural Bill Turner Cup (1979).

The Bill Turner Cup is a prestigious competition that schools from five eastern soccer states: Northern NSW (1979) NSW (1981), ACT (1982) Queensland (1987) and Victoria (1988) have entered.

In the Year 2000 the Northern NSW Schools Football, now known as Bill Turner School Football, took over the administration of the NSW based Girls competition, now known as the Bill Turner Trophy, with competing schools from Queensland, Northern NSW, NSW, ACT and Victoria – will celebrate 28-years of continuous operation in 2018. 

Bill Turner passed away, aged 83-years, in February 2013.

Bill Turner was a lot more than a football man, he was a family man that immersed himself in music, the church, table tennis and wrestling to name a few of his interests, or in most cases his passions. On one occasion his commitment to the church saw him reject an appointment to referee the visiting Manchester United FC side.

The two knock-out competitions – The Bill Turner Cup and Bill Turner Trophy – would not run seamlessly without the Area and State Managers along with the Executive Committee members.

Bill Turner School Football president Lindsay Hewison said: 

“This, the 40th year, is a milestone Bill would have been proud of, this is his legacy.

“We are all delighted that we spread from Cairns to Melbourne and that the girls competition is such a success.

“Bill always enjoyed that many of the players were not super stars but had so much fun from the competition over the years.”

This year (2018) the Bill Turner Cup (boys) is in its 40th year and the Bill Turner Trophy (girls) is in its 28th year and is regarded as one of the largest sports team competitions in the world.

This year 850 school teams from Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria will participate, with all players 15 years and under in the knockout tournament. There are 450 boys and 400 girls teams entered for 2018.

 

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