TRIBUTES will be paid to local football manager Dave Turner after family and friends were left stunned when the 52-year-old died of a sudden heart attack yesterday morning.
It is thought that the Shrivenham boss passed away at around 12.30am, just hours after a meeting at the club to discuss plans for forthcoming seasons.
Tonight’s Hellenic League Challenge Cup third-round tie against visitors Wantage has now been postponed.
A minute’s silence will be held ahead of the league fixture at home to Abingdon United on Saturday, which is still scheduled to go ahead.
Tributes have been paid by the many people whose lives were enriched by the hugely popular manager as they woke to the news on Tuesday morning.
Robb Forty, standing chairman of Shrivenham Football Club following the departure of Neil Sutton, said: “We are in total shock, and everyone is dumbfounded.
“We will be holding a committee meeting tonight and the agenda has changed somewhat now.
“We are planning to go ahead with Saturday’s home game against Abingdon, and we will be holding a minute's silence in Dave’s honour.
“We are hoping we can get the reserve game called off as well, so all the squad can be there on Saturday to pay their respects.
“We had a meeting last night about his plans for the club going forward and we were all really impressed. It is just such a shock now that he won’t be there to see them happen.
“One minute we were laughing together and having a drink with him, and the next he is not there any more. Since he has come into the club he has turned it round completely and has been like a breath of fresh air. All the players respected him and he was so enthusiastic for the game.
“We can’t thank him enough for what he has done.”
Sam Collier, a Shrivenham player who had trained under Dave since he was a boy, said: “He was one of the most inspirational men in football. He was as honest as the day was long, and he wasn’t just your manager or your mate, he was everything to everyone.
“It is a terribly sad time. Whenever something like this happens people say they were the nicest person they ever knew, but with Dave he really was.”
Matthew Bown, captain of Shrivenham, said: “This is just unbelievable and is totally out of the blue. He was a top man and a proper gentleman. He was one of a kind. The enthusiasm he had for the game, football and life in general was incredible.”
Dave took up the reins at Shrivenham in May last year following a successful five-year spell at Wootton Bassett Town.
He is survived by his wife Trisha and sons Alex, 24, and James, 22.
James is currently signed on at Shrivenham and also played for his father at Wootton Bassett.