ROB Hopkins will miss Dave Turner’s forthright views and passion for the sport – qualities which ingratiated him across the local non-league community.
The New College manager found himself in the opposite dugout to the former Shrivenham and Wootton Bassett boss on many occasions as their paths crossed regularly in the Hellenic League, and he was always struck by Turner’s enthusiasm for the sport.
Following the 52-year-old's tragic death in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Hopkins told the Advertiser how much he enjoyed Turner's company and the football discussions that came with it.
“I’m still in a bit of shock. I think I’m along with probably everybody in the non-league community who’s at a bit of a loss. It’s one of those weird things,” he said.
“I had plenty of dealings with Dave as an opposition player and an opposition manager. I never had the chance to work with him but I always had a good relationship with Dave in the sense we always had a bit of a crack and a bit of banter across the dugouts.
“He was always forthright in his opinions, he would always say it as he saw it and you had to respect him for that. He was one of those people who would be 100 per cent honest in everything he saw.
“If he thought he’d been outplayed and his team were poor he’d say it, if he thought his team deserved to win he’d say it, but he always did it in a way where you had immense respect for him. It was just the way he was.
“He’d always be happy to talk about football, not just his own team. He was always interested in other players and how other sides were getting on. He was a genuine good, all-round, local football bloke.
“There are a few managers who would say he didn’t get on with him well, but they all respect how he dealt with himself and how he was.
“It’s a big kick to deal with, it’s one you’re not expecting. He was still very young. It’s a big shock but looking at twitter a lot of people are saying a lot of nice stuff and that’s probably the measure of how people thought about him.
“People seem to be saying he’ll be a big loss and I tend to agree with them.”