Passion / Pride / Progress

Turnbull becomes Quakers' fifth signing of the summer

Turnbull becomes Quakers' fifth signing of the summer

Ray Simpson / 29th June 2015

The board of directors of Darlington Football Club would like to announce the signing of midfielder...

The board of directors of Darlington Football Club would like to announce the signing of midfielder Phil Turnbull from Gateshead.

Phil, 28, has made 362 appearances in two spells for the National League club, and is rated as one of the leading players in north east non league football.

Darlington manager Martin Gray is delighted with the signing of Turnbull, who plays in a central midfield role.

“Phil is a great signing for us,” he said. “He has played in the Conference Premier for the last four years, and been a leading player for them. Lots of clubs have been after him, but we managed to beat them all.

“He is the type of player that we are trying to attract to Darlington. He is very professional, and has an excellent attitude. When I spoke to him, he was very keen to come to Darlington and help us achieve our ambitions. Our promotion at the end of last season has been a big factor.

“His experience in midfield will be invaluable.”

Phil started his career at Hartlepool, and had a loan spell at Gateshead in 2005. He turned pro in July 2006, but only played one first team game for Hartlepool before going out on loan to Blyth and then being freed in May 2007.

He joined York, but then a shoulder injury sidelined him for six months, and when he recovered, he signed for Gateshead in March 2008. He helped Gateshead win promotion from the EvoStik Premier to the Conference North that season, and again the following season to the Conference Premier. Current Darlington striker Graeme Armstrong was one of his team mates.

He went on to establish himself as a regular at the club, and went on to make over 300 appearances for them, including one in the Conference play off final at Wembley in 2014. He was also on the losing side against us in the FA Trophy semi final in 2011.

Last season he never missed a game for the Heed until a foot injury in February forced him to sit out the rest of the season.

He was reported to have a signed a contract with Gateshead earlier in the summer, but was then offered a job as a PE teacher, and Gateshead agreed to release him so then he could accept the job and play part time football.

Phil has a twin brother, Stephen, who plays for Blyth in the EvoStik Premier Division. Earlier in the year, they were both in FA Cup third round action, Phil for Gateshead at West Brom, and Stephen for Blyth against Birmingham City.

Phil is MG’s fifth signing of the summer, following Jim Provett, Adam Nowakowski, Kevin Burgess and Rob Youhill.

We would like to welcome Phil to the club, and we wish him a long and happy stay with us.

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