Experienced striker Robbie Turner spent a month on loan with Terry Dolan’s Tigers in October and November 1996. Dolan’s tenure as City manager was drawing to a slow and acrimonious close and Turner became a brief lightning rod for the fans’ ire. He started well with a brace against Scarborough in a match that ten-man City lost 2-3, but over the next four starts he struggled to be an effective attacking force. In early November fans witnessed the spectacle of Turner playing against Cambridge, his parent club, and being jeered by both sets of supporters. He returned to Cambridge a week later.
Robert Peter Turner was born in Littlethorpe near Ripon in North Yorkshire and started his career at Huddersfield Town, coming through the Terriers’ youth system to sign his first contract in September 1984. He made his debut for Huddersfield in the League Cup a few days after signing his contract, but made only one further appearance two weeks later against Fulham in Division Two before leaving in July 1985 to join Cardiff City. He played regularly for Cardiff in the 1985/86 season and scored seven goals, his first in senior football coming in October 1985 against Wigan Athletic. But when the Bluebirds were relegated at the end of the season Turner was quickly shipped off the Hartlepool United on loan in October 1986, then sold to Bristol Rovers on New Year’s Eve 1986. His goals dried up at Eastville and after only 29 appearances and 2 goals for Bristol Rovers he was transferred in improbable circumstances to First Division side and soon-to-be FA Cup winners Wimbledon for a £15,000 fee.
Turner’s role at Wimbledon was limited to occasional first team substitute, which he fulfilled with aplomb for a year and even started two First Division games in October 1988 against Manchester United and December 1988 against Southampton. In January 1989 Turner returned west, signing for Bristol City as Wimbledon trebled their money and received a £45,000 fee. Back in the Third Division, Robbie’s goals started to flow again and in 19 starts he scored six times during the remainder of the season. That form continued into the 1989/90 season but after scoring twice against First Division Chelsea in a 3-1 FA Cup Fourth Round victory, his form slumped again. In July 1990 Plymouth Argyle were persuaded to part with £150,000 for Turner and he served the Second Division side well, scoring 14 goals in 44 appearances during the 1990/91 season. Despite being sent off twice in the early weeks of the 1991/92 season, Turner continued to contribute goals at Plymouth until he broke his leg at the end of February 1992 and missed eight months of football. When he returned from injury in November 1992 he was quickly sold to Notts County for £90,000, having scored 19 times in 77 appearances for the Pilgrims.
Turner’s time at Meadow Lane was short as manager Neil Warnock left shortly after Robbie arrived. After nine appearances and one goal for the Magpies Turner was loaned to Shrewsbury Town in March 1993, where he made nine goalless appearances. After spending the first half of the 1993/94 frozen out at Notts County, Robbie moved to Exeter City in February 1994 and this move gave his career another lift. A first team regular again in a side struggling at the foot of League Division 2, Turner scored three times but was unable to contribute enough goals to avoid relegation. Turner was an occasional presence in the Grecians’ first team for the next year and a half as they hovered around the lower reaches of the League Division 3 table, before he moved to Cambridge United in December 1995. He scored three goals in his first five starts for Cambridge but ill-discipline halted his season in February 1996 after he received his second red card of the season (the seventh dismissal of his career). Turner played occasionally for Cambridge in the 1996/97 season, picking up an eighth red card against Cardiff, and had his loan spell at Hull City before drawing his senior career to a close in the 1997 close season. Across 12 clubs and 13 seasons Turner scored 63 goals in 331 appearances, with over half of those goals coming between February 1989 and January 1992 while at Bristol City and Plymouth Argyle.
After a short spell at non-league Taunton Town, Turner hung up his boots and started a second career as a plumber in Newton Abbot, Devon.
Date/Place of Birth: 18 September 1966, Littlethorpe
Hull City First Game: 15 October 1996, Scarborough A (League Division 3), 30 years, 27 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 November 1996, Chester City A (League Division 3), 30 years, 52 days old
Huddersfield Town (1982-1985), Cardiff City (1985-1986), Hartlepool United (1986, loan), Bristol Rovers (1986-1987), Wimbledon (1987-1988), Bristol City (1988-1990), Plymouth Argyle (1990-1992), Notts County (1992-1993), Shrewsbury Town (1993, loan), Exeter City (1993-1996), Cambridge United (1996-1997), Hull City (1996, loan), Taunton Town (1997-1998)
Hull City Record
Career: 5 apps, 2 goalsRobbie Turner