Freddy Turner
Full names: Frederick George
Date of birth: 18 Mar 1914
Place of birth: Port Elizabeth
School: Grey High School
Springbok no: 232
Debut test province: Eastern Province
Date of death: 13 Sep 2003 (Age 89)

Test summary: Tests: 11 Tries: 4
First Test: 8 Jul 1933 Age:19 Left Wing against Australia at Newlands, Cape Town
Last Test: 10 Sep 1938 Age:24 Outside Centre against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town
Test history:
DateAgePositionOpponentResultScoreVenueProv
08 Jul 193319Left WingAustraliaWin: 17-3 Newlands, Cape TownEP
22 Jul 193319Inside CentreAustraliaLose: 6-21 Kingsmead, DurbanEP
12 Aug 193319Right WingAustraliaWin: 12-31 tryEllispark, JohannesburgEP
26 Jun 193723Left WingAustraliaWin: 9-5 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyTvl
17 Jul 193723Left WingAustraliaWin: 26-17 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyTvl
14 Aug 193723Full BackNew ZealandLose: 7-13 Athletic Park, WellingtonTvl
04 Sep 193723Left WingNew ZealandWin: 13-61 tryAMI Stadium (Lancaster Park), ChristchurchTvl
25 Sep 193723Left WingNew ZealandWin: 17-61 tryEden Park, AucklandTvl
06 Aug 193824Left WingBritainWin: 26-12 Ellispark, JohannesburgTvl
03 Sep 193824Full BackBritainWin: 19-32 conversions, 2 penaltiesCrusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethTvl
10 Sep 193824Outside CentreBritainLose: 16-211 try, 2 conversions, 1 penaltyNewlands, Cape TownTvl

Freddie Turner : Doc Craven

Fred was playing for a second league club and was first noticed when Geoff Gray moved from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and saw him in action.

In 1933 he was not originally selected to play against the Wallabies. Leon Barnard was chosen for the first test but had to withdraw. Turner was then called upon.

He was probably the first Springbok to travel by air for rugby purposes. I'm not sure how many times he had to change aircraft to get to Cape Town in time, but he pitched up and became my room-mate.

The Friday night before the test Freddie insisted that we have a Turkish bath. I had never had one and agreed happily. When we got back to the hotel the others wanted to know where we had been and we told them. We were warned that if the team management should find out we would not be allowed to play.

Anyway, we went to bed and had plenty of water and cold drinks. I was worried about the next day but Freddie seemed unconcerned. I still don't advocate the idea of Turkish baths, particularly before a major match.

Not that Freddie and I played badly. On the contrary; I felt so good I scored the first try and almost grabbed a second. Freddie Turner was brilliance itself, and never looked back.

That is how I met Freddie and when we were room-mates again in Johannesburg he had another bright idea: - this time we would have a massage before the match. As it happened, a good and competent masseur was available and he took me first.

When we woke up the next morning we were both full of itches and I was covered with pimples, particularly on the leg the masseur did first. These pimples turned septic and eventually became boils and I had to play in the test match in that condition. Freddie was not as badly affected.

After the match I went back to Lindley, my place of birth in the Free State, and eventually rejoined the Western Province team in Kroonstad. Mr Markotter was on the train as well.

He asked me why I was so pale and I showed him the boils on my body. He said: "Well, you'll never be able to play in that condition. When we arrive in Cape Town you must go to hospital right away."

When we arrived back in Cape Town the ambulance was waiting to take me to hospital, where it was discovered that I had 175 boils scattered over my body. They wrapped me up in boracic lint and changed the dressing several times a day.

And then came the terrible day when all those boils had to be lanced. I remember gripping the bed in my agony and I think my fingerprints must have been permanently preserved on it.

The next test was in Port Elizabeth and Mr Markotter said that I could go - but only as a reserve. When we arrived in Port Elizabeth, however, a few players had been injured and Mr Markotter played me at centre, a position in which he had always wanted to try me.

Looking back, I would therefore say that I have good reason to remember Freddie Turner! In addition to being a quick, intelligent winger, he was also a splendid place kicker and, altogether, a wonderful team-mate.