It has been said that Wayne Turner was first choice to replace Steve Wignall in 2000, only for Paul Fairclough to take charge for a second time. No matter how true that may be, the chairman got his man in 2002 after the return of Cloughie came to an end.
Turner came to the club having been assistant at Peterborough United. With him came an excellent set of coaching credentials, though not really much in the way of experience. He inherited a Boro’ side comfortable enough in mid-table, while also heading towards a first-ever FA Trophy Final.
Cloughie had done much to set them on the Trophy trail; leading our journey to the quarter finals at that point. Turner, however, kept us on course with wins over Stalybridge and then Morecambe. Any hope of bringing silverware to the club inside Turner’s first few months in charge swiftly disappeared in the final; a slick Yeovil Town side taking the win.
The word ‘months’ there is quite apt, actually. That’s because it’s months in which you can measure Wayne Turner’s reign at Boro’. Not years. A dire start to the 2002-3 Nationwide Conference campaign put us in real danger; us sitting bottom of the pile come the end of 2002.