ONE-CLUB man Stan Turner has been an integral part of Gloucester Old Boys for 45 years. In the first Name in the Frame feature, the Pink Un profiles the Gloucester man and all he has achieved playing for the club.
IT IS not often a club pays tribute to a bar steward in a testimonial match when he stands down after pulling pints for seven years.
But Stan Turner is no ordinary barman.
The 62-year-old has been at the heart of Gloucester Old Boys since he first started playing in 1968, contributing to club life in almost every way imaginable.
The hooker has captained the first, second and third sides, was vice-chairman for six years and spent some time as treasurer of the club before becoming honorary bar steward.
On May 4, the club hailed the committee member for all he had done for the Horton Road outfit and organised a testimonial game between Old Boys veterans and a North Gloucestershire Combination side.
The hard-fought game ended in a 35-35 draw, but more importantly, players Turner had not seen for almost 20 years turned up at Horton Road ready to pay tribute to the dedicated one-club man.
Turner said he was overwhelmed by the support before revealing he never wanted such a grand occasion organised in his name.
He said: “I didn’t want the fuss, I’m sure they just organised the testimonial so I got some game time but didn’t embarrass myself playing for the club in a league!
“But I am so grateful to Shane Bubb, Andy Broady and Mike Brabham for organising the day for me.
“It was just lovely.
“There was an excellent turnout and I saw people I used to play against 20 years ago.
“The game wasn’t too tough and there was a nice bit of running rugby.
“I’ve always said I’ve been very lucky in rugby.
“I have broken my leg, my thumb and a few bones in my hand but even though I play in the front row, my knees and ankles have held up.
“I’ve never suffered anything that serious and my work and relationships have allowed me to continue playing.
“I’ve loved playing for all sides in the club and I know a lot of people from many clubs in the area now.”
Turner played for the first XV for 12 years, from the early 1970s to the 1983/84 season.
He captained the club from 1975 to 1977, before taking a year out when his daughter was born.
Turner was then re-elected captain in 1979, the year of the club’s 75th anniversary celebrations, before relinquishing the post for a second time in 1981.
Turner said the highlights of his lengthy career include a win over Gloucester United, then Gloucester’ Rugby’s second XV, for a North Gloucestershire Combination XV at Kingsholm in 1984.
With the Combination side, Turner enjoyed away games to Bristol, Cheltenham and in the Forest of Dean, including a crunch derby with the Bristol Combination.
Although most men would be looking forward to the pace of life slowing down after turinng 60, Turner has had to relinquish some duties at the club due to commitments as a construction worker, while also spending time with his grandsons.
But for Turner, Gloucester Old Boys is just like a second family.
The social club has been like a home for almost half a century and he believes it is a “great family to be a part of”.
He added: “The North Gloucestershire combination clubs are bedrock for rugby.
“Gloucester Old Boys are competitive and social. You are playing guys you have known for years, and also playing their sons. It is very family orientated.
“There is great camaraderie and it is great to be a part of.”