Tributes paid to sports stalwart Dave Turner

This Is Wiltshire: Football stalwart Dave Turner, who died after suffering a heart attack in the early hours of Monday Football stalwart Dave Turner, who died after suffering a heart attack in the early hours of Monday

Tributes have poured in for popular football stalwart Dave Turner, who died after suffering a heart attack in the early hours of Monday.

The 52-year-old father-of-two joined relegated Pewsey Vale in July 2005 as manager and twice led the Ball Road outfit to equal their best-ever Vase run, getting them to the first round.

He left Pewsey in April 2008 for a five year spell at Royal Wootton Bassett.

Again he worked his magic, overseeing two promotions and the club’s longest-ever runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase. Last May he switched to Hellenic League Shrivenham, where he was already making an impact.

Devastated Pewsey chairman Alan Ritchie, who handed Mr Turner the Vale reins in July 2005, says that he was in a state of shock when he heard of his death.

“He was a great bloke and I still stayed in regular contact with him, even after he left Pewsey,” said Mr Ritchie.

“My son Tom played for him and his boy (James) played for the U18s, reserves and first team at Pewsey – I imagine he’s absolutely devastated. It’s just a huge shock.”

Current Vale manager and vice-chairman Lewis Taylor added: “He was at the club before my time and I only ever dealt with him to arrange friendlies and things like that but I know that he’s held in extremely high esteem by everyone here.

“He was an extremely passionate and committed guy when it came to his football and I’m sure that I speak for the whole community when I say that it’s a massive loss – it really does put everything into perspective.”

Bassett defender Steve Yeardley also paid tribute to his former boss.

“I’m speechless and shocked. Dave was a great man, who was a fantastic coach with tons of passion,” he said.

“He was a top friend and a genuine good bloke.”

At Pewsey, Mr Turner guided Vale to the first round proper of the Vase, where they took on Devizes Town, before they did it all again a year later, this time meeting Calne Town.

Last season, Mr Turner took Bassett all the the way to a second qualifying round FA Cup clash with Dorchester Town, also overseeing two promotions into the top tier of the Hellenic League during his spell in charge.

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