Fred Turnbull (Australian footballer)

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Fred Turnbull
Personal information
Full name Frederick Phipps Walter Turnbull
Date of birth (1884-02-04)4 February 1884
Date of death 16 August 1947(1947-08-16) (aged 63)
Place of death Highett, Victoria
Original team(s) Brighton (VFA)
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1915, 1918 St Kilda 8 (2)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1914–1915 Brighton (VFA)
Umpiring career
Years League Role Games
1923 VFL Field umpire 1
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1918.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Frederick Phipps Walter "Fred" Turnbull (4 February 1884 – 16 August 1947) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Brunswick, Prahran, and Brighton in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), and with St Kilda in the Victorian Football League (VFL).[1] He also coached both the VFA club Brighton, and the VAFA club Caulfield Grammarians Football Club.


The son of John Morier Turnbull (1845-1907) and Mary Jane Turnbull (née Macey) (1846-21 August 1928),[2] he was born on 4 February 1884 (one of, perhaps, as many as fourteen children born alive). He married Adelena Esther Frances "Lena" Mathews (1884-) on 10 August 1904.

He was divorced from her, and granted custody of their one-year-old child, on the grounds of her "infidelity" (at the time of the hearing his occupation was given as "nightwatchman"); Turnbull's older brother, Sydney Alexander Duncan Turnbull (1880-) — the father of Lena'a second child, Gladys Victoria Alice Turnbull, born in 1907 — was cited as the correspondent (and had costs awarded against him).[3][4][5]

Fred married Isabel Walker (1895-1967) in 1917.

He died on 16 August 1947.[6]




He played with VFA team Brunswick in 1909 and 1910.[7] He successfully requested a transfer to Prahran in 1910,[8] and was a regular team member for the 1910 season.

He transferred to Brighton in 1911.[9] In 1911, Turnbull was reported for striking Essendon Association player Dave McNamara in the 29 July 1911 Essendon v. Brighton match;[10] the tribunal found him guilty and suspended him for 12 months.[11] He was Brighton's captain in 1914, 1915 and, after playing for St Kilda, he returned to Brighton and played in the 1920 season.


Recruited directly from Brighton in mid-season, he played seven senior matches for St Kilda in 1915, making his debut, aged 31, kicking one goal, in St Kilda's 12.17 (89) to 8.7 (55) victory over Geelong in round 11, at the Junction Oval, on 3 July 1915.[12] He played six more senior games that season. He played one more senior game for St Kilda, aged 34, against Essendon, on 18 May 1918 (due to the war, St Kilda did not compete in the VFL competition in either 1916 or 1917).



He coached VFA team Brighton in 1914,[13] and 1915.[14]


He coached the (then) Old Caulfield Grammarians to a premiership win in B Grade of the (then) Metropolitan Amateur Football Association in 1925.


He umpired a single VFL senior match in 1923:[15] the round 7 match, between Melbourne and Essendon at the M.C.G, on 16 June 1923. His performance as a field umpire drew some criticism.[16]


  1. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2014). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (10th ed.). Seaford, Victoria: BAS Publishing. p. 898. ISBN 978-1-921496-32-5.
  2. ^ Deaths: Turnbull, The Argus, (Wednesday, 22 August 1928), p.1.
  3. ^ Divorce Court, The Bendigo Advertiser, (Wednesday, 20 May 908), p3.
  4. ^ Divorce Court: Turnbull v. Turnbull, The Argus, (Wednesday, 20 May 1908), p.8.
  5. ^ Five months later, Sydney Turnbull was charged with "threatening the life" of Lena in the Collingwood Court; in the process of the hearing some very confusing statements were made by Lena, her father, and her lawyer in relation to her divorce from Fred, and a potential, subsequent marriage to Sydney. Sydney Turnbull was bound over to keep the peace for twelve months (in one surety of ₤25, and his own bond of ₤25 as well): see A marriage in Question: Wife's "Slight Recollection", The Argus, (Tuesday, 6 October 1908), p.6.
  6. ^ Deaths: Turnbull, The Argus, (Monday, 18 August 1947), p.9.
  7. ^ Football: Victorian Association: Permits Granted, The Age, (Thursday, 29 April 1909), p11.
  8. ^ Prahran Football Club, The Prahran Telegraph, Saturday, 23 April 1910), p.2; Club Notes: Association Clubs, The Argus, Friday 13 May 1910), p.7; Football: Brunswick v. Prahran, The Coburg Leader, (Friday, 20 May 1910), p.3.
  9. ^ Football, The Southern Cross, (Saturday, 29 April 1911), p.9.
  10. ^ Essendon (7.14) beat Brighton (3.13), The Age, (Monday, 31 July 1911), p.11; Essendon Pressed, The Argus, (Monday, 31 July 1911), p.5.
  11. ^ Rough Football: Association Investigation Commission: Brighton Player Disqualified, The Age, (Thursday, 10 August 1911), p11; Player Disqualified, The Argus, (Thursday, 10 August 19110, p.5; Football, The Southern Cross, Saturday, 29 June 1912), p.8.
  12. ^ St Kilda's Third Quarter: Geelong Outplayed, The Argus, (Monday, 5 July 1915), p.5.
  13. ^ The Brighton Club: F. Turnbull Selected as Coach, The Southern Cross, Saturday, 14 March 1914), p.4.
  14. ^ Football: Brighton, The Southern Cross, (Saturday, 17 April 1915), p.3.
  15. ^ AFL Umpires Association: List of Player/Umpires.
  16. ^ For example: Football, The Argus, (Monday, 18 June 1923), p.14; Melbourne-Essendon Match: Report to Special Tribunal, (Friday, 22 June 1923), p.15.

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