Vale: Football loses a passionate advocate for coach education

posted in: News, Obituary

The New Zealand and Oceania football communities have lost a passionate advocate for coach education with the death of Glenn Turner.

Turner devoted his career to football, and primarily to coach education, working for the New Zealand Football Association, FIFA and the Oceania Football Confederation after moving to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 1981.

After working as a teacher and physical educator in Norfolk, England, Turner was initially recruited by the NZFA as a regional coach.

Turner’s first role was to set up and run regional activities for the NZFA, including education courses in the Franklin and Auckland regions.

In 1982, NZFA administrator Charlie Dempsey became the president of OFC and he asked Turner to help in the wider region.

According to the OFC website, Turner undertook some voluntary development work for OFC that included assisting the management strategies for the OFC Academy, and basic coach education courses for delivery in the Member Associations (MAs).

‘OFC was my second home’

Turner’s interest in the region led to his appointment as a Development Officer with FIFA, a role that lasted 17 years before he became part of the OFC structure.

In a 2020 interview, he said: “OFC was my second home and of course, all the staff were more than just work colleagues.”

In 2020, Turner was made an honourable member of the OFC in recognition of his contribution to the game.

The citation for his recognition said he had overseen significant growth in football and the completion of major infrastructure projects for which Oceania continues to see the benefits.

His relationship with OFC commenced in late 1981 and developed from 1982 when he returned to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, following a period of 14 years working as a teacher and physical educator in Norfolk.

Turner considered his career highlights included watching Oceania’s member nations qualify for various FIFA competitions including football World Cups at senior, U-20 and U-17 levels in both men’s and women’s football, as well as futsal, beach soccer and club World Cup championships.

Turner (second right) during a visit to Vanuatu in 2015.

Glenn Patrick Turner

The following notice has appeared in the NZ Herald:

TURNER, Glenn Patrick. Passed away after a short illness on Wednesday 1 June 2022, aged 74. Much loved husband of Dee. Loving father of Paul. Loved brother of Kevin and Anne and uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Beloved godfather of Kristina, Imogen and Caprice. A service to celebrate Glenn’s life will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 34 Cobham Road, Kerikeri on Monday 6 June at 11am.

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