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Legends - Graham Turner

3 July 2012

Legends - Graham Turner

The ninth legend to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Graham Turner.

Graham Turner joined Town in 1973 and went onto become a legendary player and also a legendary manger for the club. During his time at Shrewsbury the club began its long run in what is now know as the Championship.

Graham Turner

Like Alf Wood Graham was an England Youth defender which was no mean achievement for a youngster on the books of a Welsh club. Born in Ellesmere Port Graham linked up with Wrexham and having come through the juniors he signed professional in July 1965. Whilst at the Racecourse he played under Arthur Rowley's Brother Jack and in total made 77 starts before moving slightly closer to his roots when he signed for Chester City in January 1968. He had made 218 appearances at Sealand Road scoring five times before Town stepped in with a bid of £35K in January 1973. He moved to Gay Meadow to replace Jim Holton who was bound for Manchester United.

Graham made his debut at home to Oldham and did not miss a game during the rest of that season. He was Maurice Evans best signing and went on to forge great defensive partnerships with Mike Kearney and Colin Griffin. He served throughout Alan Durban's reign and was promoted to coach by Richie Barker. His apprenticeship on that side was rudely interrupted when John Barnwell poached Richie to be his number two at Wolves. So on November 20th 1978 Graham became caretaker manager and set about writing his own history. Initially the F.A. Cup run the way Match of the Day were put in their place as were Cambridge United Manchester City and Aldershot and the memorable if unsuccessful battle with Wolves.

That proved to be just the appetiser as after a dramatic last game victory over Exeter City not just promotion but the Third Division title was achieved. The daunting prospect of playing in the second tier was overcome and the Club established; against the odds; at that level. He completed his player career at the highest level he had tried and his last appearance in a 4-2 win at Charlton in April 1984 was his 650 Football League game. His achievements were bound to attract bigger Clubs and in July 1984 Doug Ellis secured his services for Aston Villa. Graham wanted to add Alan Smith to his team in 1986 but Deadly Doug sat on his hands and Smith moved to Arsenal the following May and they won the League Two years later.

Wolves soon stepped in when Graham left Villa and he resurrected the ailing giant winning two Championships and the Sherpa Van Trophy. However his greatest achievement so far was at Hereford where he took a bankrupt Club to prosperity and regained their League status.

Since his arrival in July 2010 the chairman has been seen to smile occasionally and the fans are talking about good times once more.


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