Bryan 'Topsy' Turner, who died on May 16th, 2014, was the Lilywhites' leading striker in the club's Athenian League days.
Bryan Turner scores for the Lilywhites against Hayes in 1953
Born at Whittlesey on August 27th, 1925, Bryan had began his footballing career for March Town United, for whom he scored 72 goals in his debut season. In doing so he helped March win the Peterborough League, the Peterborough Senior Cup and Hinchingbrooke Cup. His goal scoring feats resulted in him playing for Cambridgeshire in the Southern Counties Amateur Championship. He joined Lincoln City as an amateur, making 8 appearances in the Football League during the 1947/48 season, but decided he wanted to become a teacher than continue his footballing career. While at teacher's training college, he received offers from Leicester City and Chelsea but decide to remain in teaching. At this time he was playing for Walthamstow Avenue and also for Cambridgeshire.
Bryan Turner scores for the Lilywhites against Tooting and Mitcham in 1955.
Having accepted a teaching post in Cambridge, Bryan signed for Cambridge City at the start of the 1952/53 season making his debut at home to Wealdstone on August 23rd, 1952. Bryan scored City's only goal as they went down 4 - 1. That first season saw Bryan finish as the Club leading goalscorer with 12 goals in the Athenian League and 35 in total. These included a hat-trick in the Amateur Football Alliance Invitation Cup away at Worthing and another at home in the friendly match against the Northern Nomads.
The 1953/54 season again saw Brian knocking in the goals on a regular basises. His 17 goals in the Athenian League helped the Lilywhites finish 7th, their highest ever finish. All in all, he scored 27 first team goals that season. These goals included a hat-trick against Histon in the F.A. Cup. That season he was also City's captain and was part of the side that entertained he German amateur side, F.C, Sterkrade, who were on tour, As captain of the side, the Germans presented Bryan a miniature miner's lamp and an ornamental ashtray.
As a result of missing nearly all of the first half of the 1954/55 season, Bryan only scored 9 first team goals in total, 3 of which were in the Athenian League as the Lilywhites slipped to second from bottom. That season's top scorer in the Athenian League was Rex Wilderspin, who only netted 9 in total.
The following season proved to be his last as he received a nasty injury in the F.A. Cup Replay against March Town United. The injury forced him off the pitch in the 72nd minute, having been hobbling on the left wing following an earlier clattering from a March defender. Up to that point he had scored seven goals in just four matches. These included a hat-trick against Tooting and Mitcham on September 3rd. In October he made a brief comeback to first team action, scoring his last goal for the first team at home to Sutton United on October 15th. The following match, against Hendon also at Milton Road, proved to be his last as he was injured in training the following week. By mid December he was ready to make a comeback with the reserves but while playing for the Reserves at Foxton January 28th, his injury re-surfaced and his football career was over as he needed an operation to remove the cartilage. He had scored 79 goals for the first team in 111 appearances.
in 1957 he became the Head Teacher of the Welney Primary School, a post that he held until his retirement in 1985.
Sources of information include the article by Neil Harvey in City's programme against Weymouth (August 30th, 2014), Rothemans Football League Players Records 1946-81 and the scrapbooks of Peggy Woodhead.