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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

DAVE TURNER

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 11, 1903
Place of Birth: Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of Passing: April 6, 1989
Sport: Soccer
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1923

British Columbia championship - Cumberland United

1928,1930, 1931, 1936

Dominion Football Association championship - New Westminster Royals

1950

Named Canada's soccer player of the half century

Honoured Member DAVE TURNER
Inspire

Story

Although it has struggled to create a domestic following that rivals the attention that the international game receives from Canadians, soccer has produced its share of domestic stars. And, in 1950, Canada's newly-anointed soccer player of the half century could claim an excellent pedigree. Dave Turner was born in Scotland. Just weeks before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he immigrated to Canada with his mother and siblings to join his father. The family settled in Edmonton when Turner was eleven. He was a local soccer star by the time he was 14, graduated from normal school at 16, and began teaching in Camrose. However, with soccer in its heyday on the west coast in the 1920s, the lure of a playing career was too great for the young Turner to pass up. He and a soccer-playing friend headed to Vancouver in 1922. After an ill-fated tryout with the local St. Andrews team, the pair accepted an offer to play for Cumberland United, a Vancouver Island team sponsored by a local mining company. In 1923, the club won the B.C. provincial title and advanced to the semi-finals of the Connaught Cup competition,a domestic soccer challenge cup,before losing to Winnipeg. After his success with Cumberland United, Turner was invited back to play for St. Andrews and he spent the 1924 and 1925 seasons in Vancouver. Turner left the west coast in 1925, lured to the U.S. by the financial rewards of professional football. He returned to Canada in 1926 to play pro soccer with Toronto Ulster United, a team owned by the T. Eaton Co. He spent a single season with Ulster United before accepting an invitation from the Dominion Football Association to join a Canadian national team that was embarking upon a four-month tour of New Zealand. The Canadians and the Kiwis played four international games, and overall the Canadian side played 22 games between May 25 and July 30, 1927, winning 19, losing two, with one tie. Turner enjoyed his greatest soccer success after returning from the New Zealand trip. At the time he had decided to return to Edmonton and attend the University of Alberta, but the team's ship was met in Vancouver by Fred Hume, the city's wealthy mayor and owner of New Westminster's soccer club, the Royals. Hume persuaded Turner to join the Royals while pursuing his studies at the University of British Columbia. Over the next nine seasons, from 1928 to 1936, Turner was one of the star players on Canada's dominant soccer club. The Royals won the Dominion Football Association championship four times during Turner's tenure--in 1928, 1930, 1931, and 1936--and the 1929 club was named in 1950 by the Canadian Press as Canada's soccer team of the half century. Turner's playing career ended in 1936, the same year he earned his B.A. from UBC, and he returned to teaching. He received his master's degree in 1944 from UBC and his doctorate from Cornell University in 1946. He joined the British Columbia government in 1947 and two years later was made director of conservation in the provincial Department of Lands and Forests. In 1957, Turner was named the first deputy for the newly-created Department of Recreation and Conservation, a post he held until his retirement in 1968. As committed as he was to recreation and land use in his professional career, for his on-field talents Turner was named Canada's soccer player of the half century by Canadian Press in 1950.


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