Chris Turner (footballer, born 1958)

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Chris Turner
Personal information
Full name Christopher Robert Turner[1]
Date of birth (1958-09-15) 15 September 1958 (age 60)
Place of birth Sheffield, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)}[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1975–1976 Sheffield Wednesday
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1979 Sheffield Wednesday 91 (0)
1978 Lincoln City (loan) 5 (0)
1978–1985 Sunderland 195 (0)
1985–1988 Manchester United 64 (0)
1988–1991 Sheffield Wednesday 75 (0)
1989 Leeds United (loan) 2 (0)
1991–1994 Leyton Orient 58 (0)
Total 490 (0)
Teams managed
1994–1995 Leyton Orient
1999–2002 Hartlepool United
2002–2004 Sheffield Wednesday
2004–2005 Stockport County
2008–2010 Hartlepool United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Christopher Robert Turner (born 15 September 1958) is an English former footballer and manager who was most recently sales and marketing manager at Port Vale. He made 589 league and cup appearances in a 19-year career as a professional in the English Football League, and then took charge of a further 469 matches as a manager.

A goalkeeper, he began his career at hometown club Sheffield Wednesday, winning the club's Player of the Year award in his debut season in 1977–78. He then won a place on the PFA Team of the Year the following season, and also played on loan at Lincoln City, before being sold on to Sunderland for £80,000 in July 1979. He helped Sunderland to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1979–80, and in 1985 played on the losing side in the League Cup final, before he was named as the club's Player of the Year. He was purchased by Manchester United for a £275,000 fee in July 1985. He was sold back to former club Sheffield Wednesday for a £175,000 fee in September 1988. He briefly played on loan at Leeds United the following year. He helped Wednesday to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1990–91, and kept a clean sheet against former club Manchester United as Wednesday won the League Cup in 1991. He was moved on to Leyton Orient for £75,000 in 1991, and was again named on the PFA Team of the Year in 1991–92.

He began his managerial career at Leyton Orient in August 1994, working alongside John Sitton. The pair were sacked in April 1995, and he coached at Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, before being appointed manager at Hartlepool United in February 1999. He turned the club from relegation candidates to consistent play-off challengers, and was hired by former club Sheffield Wednesday in November 2002. He lasted 22 months in the job, before he was sacked in September 2004. He took charge at Stockport County three months later, but was again unsuccessful, and left the club by mutual consent in December 2005. He returned to Hartlepool United as Director of Sport in February 2006, before being named as first-team manager in December 2008. He resigned in August 2010, and went on to work behind the scenes at Chesterfield and Port Vale.

Playing career

Sheffield Wednesday

Born in Sheffield, Turner began his goalkeeping career at Sheffield Wednesday, turning professional in August 1976.[3] He enjoyed a highly successful debut season, winning the club's Player of the Year award for his performances across his 52 appearances as Len Ashurst's "Owls" posted an eighth-place finish in the Third Division in the 1976–77 campaign. Wednesday slipped to 14th-place in the 1977–78 season, and Turner was limited to 31 appearances as new manager Jack Charlton looked for a larger sized goalkeeper in Bob Bolder.[3] Wednesday again finished 14th in 1978–79, and Turner played 32 games at Hillsborough, whilst also spending a five-game loan spell at bottom club Lincoln City. He was voted onto the PFA Team of the Year, alongside teammate Brian Hornsby.[4] Despite this award, Charlton sold Turner on to Sunderland for £80,000 in July 1979.[5]


Ken Knighton led the "Black Cats" to promotion out of the Second Division in 1979–80 – they finished as runners-up, just one point behind champions Leicester City – with Turner playing 30 of the club's 42 league games as he fended off competition from Barry Siddall.[3] He then featured 31 times as they consolidated their First Division status with a 17th-place finish. New manager Alan Durban then led Sunderland to a 19th-place finish in 1981–82, with Turner being limited to only 19 league appearances. He regained his first-team status in the 1982–83 season, playing 41 matches as Sunderland posted a 16th-place finish; during the season he managed to keep six clean sheets in a row.[3] Len Ashurst took charge for the end of the 1983–84 campaign, and kept faith in Turner, who ended the season with 48 appearances to his name. He featured 53 times across the 1984–85 campaign, his last one at Roker Park, as Sunderland were relegated in 21st-place. Sunderland did also make it to the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium in 1985, but lost 1–0 to Norwich City after Gordon Chisholm deflected Asa Hartford's shot past Turner just after half-time.[6] The campaign did end on a positive note on a personal level for Turner, as supporters voted him the club's Player of the Year.[3]

Manchester United

In July 1985, Ron Atkinson signed Turner for a £275,000 fee to challenge Gary Bailey for the number one shirt at Manchester United.[2] Turner played 22 of the club's 56 matches in the 1985–86 campaign, helping the "Red Devils" to a fourth-place finish.[7] He was on the bench as United lost the 1985 FA Charity Shield to Everton. Bailey was out of favour for the 1986–87 season, but Turner could only make it to 29 appearances as youth-team goalkeeper Gary Walsh established himself in the first-team at Old Trafford. Turner was placed on the transfer-list by new manager Alex Ferguson, but still went on to make 30 appearances in the 1987–88 season, before his place was taken by incoming Aberdeen goalkeeper Jim Leighton.

Return to Sheffield Wednesday

Turner returned to Sheffield Wednesday, who were struggling in the First Division under Peter Eustace, for a £175,000 fee in September 1988.[2] Ironically Eustace was replaced by Ron Atkinson, who managed to keep Wednesday three points above the relegation zone at the end of the 1988–89 season. Turner played 23 of the club's 38 league games in the 1989–90 season, as Wednesday dropped out of the top-flight on goal difference. He also spent a two-game spell on loan at Howard Wilkinson's Second Division Leeds United, providing cover for the injured Mervyn Day.[5] Wednesday made an immediate return to the First Division after securing the third automatic promotion place at the end of the 1990–91 season. Turner also kept goal in the 1991 League Cup Final, and kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 victory over former club Manchester United.[8]

Leyton Orient

Turner did not return to the top-flight however, and instead dropped down to the Third Division to sign for Leyton Orient to be reunited with former Wednesday manager Peter Eustace, who paid out a fee of £75,000.[5] The "O's" finished in tenth-place at the end of the 1991–92 campaign, in what was Turner's final season as a guaranteed number one. He was voted onto the PFA Team of the Year for the second time in his career.[9] He was limited to 20 appearances in the 1992–93 season, as Orient missed out on the play-offs on goal difference. He played just eight games of the 1993–94 season, and featured once in the 1994–95 campaign, by which time he had been elevated to joint-manager.

Style of play

Turner was an agile goalkeeper with good reflex shot-stopping ability and good handling, though he lacked physical presence.[3]

Managerial career

Leyton Orient

Turner started his managerial career at Leyton Orient as joint-manager with John Sitton at the start of the 1994–95 season. The campaign was unsuccessful, as Orient were relegated out of the Second Division in last-place, and new chairman Barry Hearn sacked the pair on 20 April 1995. After leaving Brisbane Road, Turner was appointed as reserve team coach at Leicester City by manager Mark McGhee, and later moved with McGhee to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was appointed youth-team coach.

Hartlepool United

Turner was appointed manager at Hartlepool United on 24 February 1999, who were sitting bottom of the Football League. He proved to be a success at Victoria Park, keeping the "Monkey Hangers" two places and three points ahead of Scarborough, who were relegated into non-league football and never to return at the end of the 1998–99 season. He then led "Pools" to a seventh-place finish in 1999–2000, though a 3–0 aggregate defeat to Darlington in the play-off semi-finals saw them remain in the Third Division. He was named as Third Division Manager of the Month for January 2001.[10] Hartlepool narrowly missed out on a place in the automatic promotion places in 2000–01, and ended up losing 5–1 on aggregate to Blackpool in the play-off semi-finals. More play-off heartbreak followed in 2001–02, this time they took Cheltenham Town to penalties after two legs of the semi-finals. He left the club to manage his boyhood club on 7 November 2002, leaving Mike Newell to complete the task of securing promotion for Hartlepool.[11]

Sheffield Wednesday

Turner took charge at Sheffield Wednesday 26 years after first making his debut for the club. He was unable to save the club from relegation to the third tier at the end of the 2002–03 season, and later said it was "virtually a no-win situation" and that it was "like trying to build a shed without the tools. We had a lot of blunt tools, but no sharp ones".[12] They also struggled to adapt in the Second Division, and ended the 2003–04 campaign in 16th-place and were the division's lowest scorers with 48 goals. He released 13 players in May 2004.[13] Turner was sacked on 18 September 2004 after a slow start to the League One campaign left Wednesday languishing in 14th-place.[14] He stated that "I've given it everything I had – we just needed more time".[15] His successor, Paul Sturrock, steered the club to promotion at the end of the 2004–05 season.

Stockport County

Turner returned to management with Stockport County on 19 December 2004, who were bottom of League One at the time. He was unable to turn the "Hatters" around, and Country ended the 2004–05 season relegated in last place. They went on to struggle in League Two, and Turner left the club by mutual consent on 27 December 2005, with Stockport now five points adrift at the bottom of the Football League.[16] His replacement at Edgeley Park, Jim Gannon, managed to keep Stockport out of the relegation zone at the end of the 2005–06 season.

Return to Hartlepool

In February 2006, Turner returned to Hartlepool United in the newly created position of Director of Sport, with Paul Stephenson working as caretaker-manager; Turner's role left him to administer "the club's overseas participation in football tournaments, pre-season planning, conferences and Football League issues".[17] On 15 December 2008, Turner took over as caretaker-manager at Hartlepool following the departure of Danny Wilson, in addition to his Director of Sport role at the club. He led Hartlepool to a 19th-place finish in League One at the end of the 2008–09 season, two places and one point above the relegation zone. Speaking in January 2010, Turner responded to criticism from supporters by saying that "people have to realise to get into the top six is very difficult for the majority of clubs in this division".[18] United ended the 2009–10 campaign above the relegation zone on goal difference after being deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player as Gary Liddle played when he should have served a suspension.[19] On 19 August 2010, Turner resigned from his position at Hartlepool.[20] He had previously stated his frustration at what he said was a lack of funds to sign players.[21] Over the summer he had released eight players, but was only able to make four new signings.[22] His successor, Mick Wadsworth, took the club to a 16th-place finish at the end of the 2010–11 season.

Later career

In October 2010, Turner fronted an ultimately unsuccessful bid to purchase Sheffield Wednesday.[23] He went on to became chief executive of Chesterfield in December 2011, replacing Carol Wilby.[24] He switched roles to director of football in January 2017, before he was made redundant two months later.[25][26] He applied to take charge at Hartlepool for a third time in May 2017, citing 'unfinished business', but was unsuccessful.[27] He was appointed as the new sales and marketing manager at Port Vale in November 2017.[28] He left the role in June 2018 after being informed of the club's decision to make a change.[29]


Playing statistics


Club Season Division League FA Cup Other[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sheffield Wednesday 1976–77 Third Division 45 0 2 0 5 0 52 0
1977–78 Third Division 23 0 2 0 6 0 31 0
1978–79 Third Division 23 0 9 0 0 0 32 0
Total 91 0 13 0 11 0 115 0
Lincoln City (loan) 1978–79 Third Division 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Sunderland 1979–80 Second Division 30 0 0 0 2 0 32 0
1980–81 First Division 27 0 2 0 2 0 31 0
1981–82 First Division 19 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
1982–83 First Division 35 0 2 0 4 0 41 0
1983–84 First Division 42 0 2 0 4 0 48 0
1984–85 First Division 42 0 1 0 10 0 53 0
Total 195 0 7 0 22 0 124 0
Manchester United 1985–86 First Division 17 0 3 0 2 0 22 0
1986–87 First Division 23 0 2 0 4 0 29 0
1987–88 First Division 24 0 3 0 3 0 30 0
Total 64 0 8 0 9 0 81 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1988–89 First Division 29 0 2 0 2 0 33 0
1989–90 First Division 23 0 2 0 1 0 26 0
1990–91 Second Division 23 0 4 0 4 0 31 0
Total 75 0 8 0 7 0 90 0
Leeds United (loan) 1989–90 Second Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Leyton Orient 1991–92 Third Division 34 0 5 0 4 0 43 0
1992–93 Second Division 17 0 1 0 2 0 20 0
1993–94 Second Division 6 0 0 0 2 0 8 0
1994–95 Second Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 58 0 6 0 8 0 70 0
Career total 490 0 42 0 57 0 589 0
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the League Cup, Football League play-offs and Full Members Cup.

Managerial statistics

Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
G W D L Win %
Leyton Orient 1 August 1994 20 April 1995 47 7 9 31 014.89 [31]
Hartlepool United 24 February 1999 7 November 2002 194 82 48 64 042.27 [31]
Sheffield Wednesday 7 November 2002 19 September 2004 96 29 31 36 030.21 [31]
Stockport County 19 December 2004 26 December 2005 51 7 15 29 013.73 [31]
Hartlepool United 15 December 2008 19 August 2010 81 23 19 39 028.40 [31]
Total 469 148 122 199 031.56



Manchester United
Sheffield Wednesday




  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 621. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
  2. ^ a b c "Chris Turner - Manchester United Player Profile & Stats". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Dykes, Garth; Lamming, Doug (2000). All the Lads: A Complete Who's Who of Sunderland AFC. Great Britain. p. 427. ISBN 9781899538157.
  4. ^ a b Lynch, Tony (1995). The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. Random House. p. 142. ISBN 0-09-179135-9.
  5. ^ a b c " Leeds United Player Profile: Chris Turner". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Club History – 1970 to 1985". Norwich City F.C. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  7. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Interview – Chris Turner". Manchester United News. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b "League Cup History". The Football League. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  9. ^ a b Lynch, Tony (1995). The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. Random House. p. 149. ISBN 0-09-179135-9.
  10. ^ a b "League Managers Association - Manager of the Month". Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Turner handed Owls post". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
  12. ^ Needham, Al. "When Saturday Comes - Chris Turner interview". Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Owls boss wields the axe". BBC Sport. 13 May 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Owls sack Turner". BBC Sport. 18 September 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Sacked Turner backing Allen". BBC Sport. 19 September 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Manager Turner leaves Stockport". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 27 December 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2007.
  17. ^ "Former boss Turner back at Pools". BBC Sport. BBC News. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  18. ^ "Pools boss preaches fans patience". BBC Sport. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Points deduction rocks Hartlepool". BBC Sport. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Turner quits as Hartlepool United director of sport". BBC Sport. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  21. ^ "Chris Turner resigns as manager of Hartlepool". Evening Gazette. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  22. ^ Rayner, Stuart (20 August 2010). "Chris Turner was unhappy at Hartlepool". The Journal. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Owls takeover very close - Turner". BBC Sport. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Chris Turner becomes new Chesterfield chief executive". BBC Sport. 21 December 2011.
  25. ^ "Chris Turner Leaves Club". 1 March 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Chris Turner: Chesterfield director of football leaves League One club". BBC Sport. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  27. ^ Gregory, Ross (16 May 2017). "Chris Turner in sensational bid to return to Hartlepool United as new boss". Hartlepool Mail. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  28. ^ Baggaley, Michael (29 November 2017). "Former Manchester United keeper Chris Turner joins Port Vale's commercial team". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  29. ^ Baggaley, Michael (28 June 2018). "Chris Turner loses job at Port Vale as Valiants make change". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  30. ^ Chris Turner at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  31. ^ a b c d e Chris Turner management career statistics at Soccerbase
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