All Whites legend Turner thanks Marinovich

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 24 September 2022

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC club member Andrew Marinovich has shared a rare gift with terminally ill All Whites legend Grant Turner and his family.

Marinovich was in Tauranga for work when he spotted a rare portrait of Turner at an antique shop in Paeroa.

Marinovich said: "I think it may be taken during the All Whites World Cup qualifier played against Chinese-Taipai (Taiwan) at Mount Smart Stadium on 30 May 1981.

"I kept the item in storage along with other All Whites memorabilia I've collected over the years but when I read Tony Smith's article in Stuff, I decided it made more sense to give the portrait to Grant and his family, wife Lyn, daughter Rachel and grandchildren Brodie and Nate," he said.

The last time Turner played on Kiwitea Street was back on 20 January 2005 when he participated in the South-East Asia Tsunami Fundraiser Charity Football Match featuring an NZ All Whites Invitational XI against an All Stars XI.

The charity match was very successful and raised around $30,000.00 for the cause and was the only time Turner ever played on Kiwitea Street.

Turner was grateful for the gesture.

"I would like to thank everyone, Andrew and the club, for the gift you gave to Allan Jones and John Adshead to pass on.

"I am very grateful to have this picture and the gesture is very much appreciated," Turner said.

Former All Whites coaches Jones and Adshead spoke highly of Turner.

Adshead said: "Grant made a huge announcement on the world stage on his debut against Mexico winning that game 4-0in.

"I can’t think of a game where his commitment and contribution wasn’t at the highest level Grant was a tremendous athlete with high levels of technique and the skill to back it up, and played a major role in getting us to Spain during the 1982 FIFA World Cup campaign.

"No words could describe everyone’s disappointment when he was injured during a training game which shattered his dreams of playing in the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals Grant was a team player feared by the opposition respected by his teammates”.

Allan Jones, a former All Whites and Auckland City FC head coach, echoed Adshead's sentiments.

“Grant Turner was the quintessential New Zealand footballer. Hard- nosed, direct, effective and carried a never say die spirit into every match.

"Football fans country wide will forever carry the memory of his headed World Cup goal against Australia in Sydney, but what many folk are unaware of was his high football intelligence.

"His ability to carry out instructions and hold a game plan together was exemplary. I will forever remember his contribution in the away game against Japan in Tokyo in 1983.

"We had already beaten them 3-1 in Auckland and we knew they would come at us up in their own homeland.

"That night Grant was defensively disciplined in the extreme, but still found the energy to run at the opposing defensive block before crossing a magnificent ball into the path of Steve Sumner to finish for the winning goal that night.

"He made a terrific contribution then, his 26th birthday, and a fabulous contribution to New Zealand football in general.

"This indeed was demonstrated further when he had finished a distinguished playing career Grant qualified as a coach and has affected many young players since”.


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