Legendary All Whites coach John Adshead has paid tribute to his former player, Grant Turner, saying: ‘He was a lionheart.”
Turner, who has died aged 64, was a gentle man, despite his reputation for toughness, Adshead said.
“He came to me with his tats on his hands and tats on his chest, and I think, for a long time, he felt like he didn’t fit,” Adshead has told Newshub.
“He couldn’t do what Steve Woodin did, he couldn’t do what Wynton Rufer did and I had to tell him, ‘You’re here because you’re you, I want you to do what you do well’.”
Adshead said the goal Turner scored against Australia in the World Cup qualifying campaign was, in his view, the best headed goal you would see anywhere.
“He was a super guy and I’d like him to be remembered, not as the hardman, as the guy who would kick you … that’s was only a very small part of him. There was a lot more to Grant Turner.”
Main photo: John Adshead … ‘he was a lionheart.’ Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Click on image to watch Newshub’s interview with John Adshead:
Ricki Herbert: ‘You could always count on Grant’
Turner’s 1982 teammate Ricki Herbert also paid tribute, saying:
“When the chips were down, and you needed every player to do their part, you could always count on Grant.
“He was a courageous player and when things got tough, you knew he’d be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with his teammates.
“I personally want to join with the football community in sending my condolences to Grant’s family and friends.”