Former All Whites midfielder Grant Turner — one of the stars of the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign — has died in Tauranga, aged 64.
His death, after struggling with cancer in recent years, was confirmed by the NZ Professional Footballers Association who paid tribute to Turner, saying:
“A giant on the field, playing 71 times for the All Whites between 1980 and 1988, Grant is a treasured member of our footballing history. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Turner was inducted to the Sports Legends of Wellington in 2022 who recognised his contribution to football with a citation that included:
“His most iconic sporting moment came in a World Cup qualifying game against Australia, flashing home a long-range header to advance to the next round in 1981.
“This unforgettable team made their first World Cup (finals) in 1982.”
‘Never seen a better headed goal’
Turner was a rare footballer in that he played almost all his club football for New Zealand clubs, apart from a brief stint with South Melbourne Hellas in 1982.
His New Zealand clubs included Stop Out, Gisborne City (two spells), Petone, Miramar Rangers and Wellington United.
Grant John Turner (October 7, 1958 — February 28, 2023)
Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.