Vale Bill Turner

February 26, 2013

in News

26 February, 2013
By Greg Danvers – Bill Turner Media Manager

Bill Turner – 7 May, 1929 to 22 February, 2013

FFA Hall of Fame
Life Member Northern NSW Football
Life Member NSW CHS Football

THE Football Family has lost an innovator and great man with the passing of Bill Turner last week to Pancreatic Cancer.

Bill Turner is well known in school football as the figurehead of the Bill Turner Cup which will be contested for the 35th time this year. A high schools knockout competition run in the football states of Queensland, Northern NSW, NSW, ACT and Victoria.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer David Gallop paid tribute to Bill Turner and his services to Football.

“Bill Turner was one of the great pioneers of youth football in Australia and made a prodigious contribution to the game,” said Gallop.

“Bill had a vision to develop school football and never lost his drive over four decades. He worked tirelessly for the game he loved, and gave opportunities to so many players and coaches, well beyond his home patch in the Hunter Valley.

“On behalf of the Australian football community, I send condolences to Bill’s loved ones and I salute one of the genuine heroes of our game.”

Northern NSW Schools Football Incorporated administers the 15 years and under boy’s Bill Turner Cup as well as the girl’s equivalent Bill Turner Trophy.

The committee of the day, some 30 plus years ago, had the foresight to name the competition after Bill Turner. Mr Turner, then teacher at Booragul High School, became the driver of the junior high school tournament – he was involved in the formation of the senior boy’s Tasman Cup, which later became the Commonwealth Bank Cup and now referred to as the Errea Cup.

“Bill was enormously proud to be associated with Northern NSW Football and Booragul High, where amongst others he coached the Tredinnick brothers and Craig Johnston,” said Lindsay Hewison, President of Northern NSW Schools Football. Listen to Lindsay’s ABC Radio interview by clicking here

“Bill was an international referee in the 1960s and refereed amongst others Everton and Dundee. He was a staunch supporter of all referees and claimed he ‘watched the ref rather than the game’.”

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 Manchester United.

“Dad refereed around Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie regions,” said Lloyd Turner. See the Herald article on Bill by clicking here

“He declined refereeing the match between Manchester United and Northern NSW in 1967 due to a conflict with church commitments.

“Bill’s family are very proud of his football achievements, he had such a vision to develop junior talent and worked tirelessly while he was a school teacher – organising trials, development programmes and overseas tours.

“The amazing thing was that he concurrently did the same for music – he conducted a 90 voice school choir and organised Hunter Region music festivals that were the forerunner of the Spectaculars of today. Then on the Sunday, he was off to referee at the highest level.

“Bill will be greatly missed by his family, his football family, his church family and the many fellow teachers, students and players who appreciated his ability and humour.”

Bill would start work the day after the finals on the next year’s Bill Turner Cup and Trophy but in recent years, given his age and at times his health, the committee were more involved in the day to day running of the competitions that encompassed in excess of 400 schools both boys and girls. His influence always shone through – if there was a problem the committee would ask: “Bill what do we do?”

Now they have to ask themselves: “What would Bill have done or said?” The committee, in part, that named the tournament after Bill Turner, in 1979, is still active and with the newcomers, like myself, have the responsibility to uphold Bill’s ethos for the Cup and Trophy that bears his name.

“Fun, Fitness and Fair Play and to say NO to Tobacco, Sugar Drinks, Alcohol, Junk Foods, Drugs, False Advertising, Racism, Bullying and Anti Social Behaviour.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tony Wilson 02.26.13 at 9:40 am

As a member of the northern nsw schoolboys football side that competed in the inaugral australian schools football championship in Melbourne 1975 with Bill as manager, I can only say that the passion, empathy and love of the game that he engendered , sparked a legacy that is still carried to this day. A wonderful gentleman who believed in the integrity of the individual and the platform of football to display it. Though sadly missed he will have a great smile on the achievements under his stewardship

2 Geoff Stanmore 02.27.13 at 11:29 am

It saddened us here at Bossley Park High School to hear that the fulltime whistle had blown on Bill’s life. However, the man that he is has touched many lives and as such, his legacy will continue to live on in many more rounds of Bill Turner Cup and Trophy. Thanks Bill – your life time efforts in football will always be remembered.

3 Westfields Sports HS 02.27.13 at 2:58 pm

We send our deepest condolences to Bill Turner’s family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Bill was a remarkable man with a passion for football. His legacy will continue to provide opportunity to thousands of young people to participate in a game that he cherished so dearly, and for this we are all truly grateful.
There are no goodbyes for us but rather Thank you.
Wherever you are Bill, you will always be honored and remembered.

4 MICHAEL CAPILLI 04.29.13 at 2:46 pm

I only met Bill once, but it his passion and character were apparent. i was impressed with his humble manner and friendliness. God bless you Bill, and thank you for all you have done.

5 Bob Brooks 08.27.13 at 8:46 am

Bill Turner was a mentor to me. His character and manner was an inspiration. In addition to Football, Bill was a singer of renown in Newcastle and Sydney. He sang many times in Handel’s ‘Messiah’. His proudest moment came when his grand daughter
also sang a leading part alongside her Grand Father.
Deserved honours came his way but in typical fashion Bill Turner simply stowed them away. The awarding of an OAM in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday awards had to be posthumous as he would have politely Turnered (sic) down.

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