Willie Turner, of whom there is no known picture, would play for Scotland twice, once in 1885 and again in 1886. And, as a forward, he did so whilst playing for the comparatively junior Pollokshields Utd. However, he was not the first cap from the club. That had been the winger, Frank Shaw, a season earlier. Shaw had been born in Tradeston in 1864. Turner was also born that same year and in the neighbouring Gorbals. His father was a master-butcher but he would die in 1867, his wife, William's mother, carrying on the business and seemingly very successfully. By 1881 the family had clearly moved on, both geographically and socially. It was living in Kinning Park, in Strathbungo between Queen's Park and Pollokshields itself. William's eldest brother, James, was a stockbroker, his elder brother, Joseph, was a clerk, as was William himself.
At school at Glasgow Academy Turner is said to have played rugby but, perhaps with the sheer proximity of football close to home, he swapped codes and with obvious and rapid success. His first cap came at the age of just twenty-one. Yet it was not to continue. By twenty-three he had given up the game to concentrate on business. He would, still living at home in 1891, become initially a drinks-salesman and a decade later be recorded as a distiller. And in the meantime he had married, to Margaret Ethel Shearer in 1895 and two children, a boy and the a girl, followed.
It was from this point, William obviously successful in the drinks-business, that the family moved out of Glasgow. In 1911 the family was living just south of Dunoon. By 1921 the couple had moved to just outside of Troon. In the sporting sense too he had turned his attentions elsewhere, even from early on. In 1890 he reached the final of the West of Scotland tennis championship. And later his passion clearly became golf. But, whilst he died in a house he had between Royal Troon and Troon's Ladies' Course and was recorded as also living in Paisley, he is buried much closer to his South Glasgow roots in Cathcart Cemetery.
1864 - 102, South Portland St., The Gorbals, Glasgow
1871 - 93, South Portland St., The Gorbals, Glasgow
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