Tributes paid to dedicated Middleton St George junior football club coach "Mally" Turnbull (From The Advertiser Series)
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Tributes paid to dedicated Middleton St George junior football club coach
TRIBUTES have been paid to a dedicated and hard-working junior football club coach whose ‘unwavering dedication’ helped to inspire dozens of youngsters.
For nearly two decades, Malcolm Turnbull – affectionately known as Mally – coached a number of junior football teams in both Darlington and Middleton St George, where he had lived since 1991.
The father-of-two was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year ago. He died on Thursday, October 24 at Darlington Memorial Hospital aged 56.
In 2002, Mr Turnbull became one of the first coaches at Mount Pleasant Rangers Junior Football Club, but later moved to Middleton Rangers Football Club.
He then set up Middleton St George Youth Football Club with fellow coach, Mark Anderson.
His friend of more than ten years and ward councillor for the village, councillor Steve York, described him as a ‘genuinely nice guy with a brilliant sense of humour.’
“His dedication to helping young people, it was a dedication which never seemed to wane. The young people in this village have got a lot to thank him for,” he said.
“Even over the last year he never let anything bother him, he didn’t let anybody down. He never raised his voice, even on the football pitch.
“He was just a genuinely nice guy and was such a gentleman. He never complained about being ill.”
He worked for paint supply company, Paintline Ltd, and continued working until two weeks before his death.
He leaves behind his wife of 18 years, Lynn, son Benjamin, 19, and daughter Mollie, 15.
Mrs Turnbull said: “He lived for football and has always followed football.
“We spent most weekends down at the pitch - it was something he really enjoyed. I got quite involved in it as well, as I thought if you can’t beat them, join them.
“Everybody has been amazing, the support we have had has been unbelievable.”
Mr Turnbull's funeral took place last Thursday (October 31) at Darlington Crematorium and a collection for Cancer Research UK raised around £500.
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