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Clete Turner

Career : 1935
Debut : Round 1, 1935 vs Geelong, aged 26 years, 4 days
Carlton Player No. 519
Games : 19
Goals : 3
Last Game : Semi Final, 1935 vs Richmond, aged 26 years, 143 days
Guernsey No. 27
Height : 170 cm (5 ft. 7 in.)
Weight : 71.3 kg (11 stone, 3 lbs.)
DOB : 23 April, 1909


A much-travelled wingman who had previously played VFL football at Geelong and Fitzroy, Cletus Handley (Clete) Turner gave the Blues good service in his only season at Princes Park in 1935.

A country boy from Colac, and later neighbouring Cressy, Turner joined Geelong as a 23 year-old in 1932. He managed five senior games in his debut year, and 15 more after crossing to Fitzroy in 1933 and 1934. When he arrived at Princes Park to join his third VFL club in 1935, he was a seasoned 25 year-old who was allocated to a centre wing for round one, and played there for the entire year.

His debut match for the Blues was a cracker, against his former club Geelong at Princes Park. After a skilful, open contest, scores were level deep into time-on in the last quarter when the Cats’ champion full-forward George Maloney took a towering mark, and steered through the winning goal.

As the season progressed, Turner completed a quality centre line for the Blues, usually with Keith Shea in the centre, and Bob Green on the other wing. Carlton wound up the home and away season in third place, but lost the first Semi Final to Richmond by 21 points - the seventh successive time that Richmond had knocked Carlton out of the finals race.

Turner departed Carlton and VFL football after that one taste of finals football. Later, he served his country in World War II, and passed away in unexplained circumstances on April 23, 1961 - four days before his fifty-second birthday.

Footnote:
The Sporting Globe April 18 (p6) 1931, talking about Geelong's wing vacancy - "there are a number of clever candidates for the wing position, including Clete Turner of Cressy;"

Articles: Every Picture tells a story - Signatures from 1935

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Clete Turner | Turner's Blueseum Image Gallery

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