STOCKPORT COUNTY FC

250 Not Out for Bully!

County skipper Paul Turnbull looks set to make his 250th appearance for the club this evening when the Hatters take on Dorking in their FA Trophy second round replay at Edgeley Park.

Paul will reach the quarter of a thousand mark having returned to County for his fourth spell in the summer of 2018.

County boss Jim Gannon said: “Paul has been a great servant, going all the way back to our Wembley days, but I remember Paul even before that as a kid playing for the club, and the difficulties he went through in terms of establishing himself in the first team and being given a chance to show what he could do.

“He looked at reinventing himself as a midfielder, he’s taken on all the information and had a great career as a result, and it continues, so hopefully he’ll have other milestones as well to look forward to.”

Born in Handforth, Paul progressed through the club’s Centre of Excellence as a striker, but later switched to centre midfield, which proved to be a master stroke.

He remains the youngest player ever to feature in the Football League for County, making his debut against Wrexham in 2005 at 16 years and 97 days – he needed permission from his headteacher at Wilmslow High School to appear for the first team.

Despite still being a teenager, he was a pivotal figure in County’s promotion to League One under Jim Gannon, featuring in all of the Play Off fixtures in 2008, including the 3-2 win over Rochdale at Wembley.

By the age of 21, he was club captain, having turned down the chance to move to Chelsea during his early career.

In 2011, the Hatters allowed Paul to join Northampton Town for an undisclosed compensation fee after County were relegated from the Football League, bringing an end to more than a decade at Edgeley Park for Paul.   

He rejoined the club for a couple of loan spells during his time with the Cobblers, before signing for Macclesfield Town, making more than 100 appearances for the Silkmen.

After further spells with Barrow and Chester, Paul returned to his spiritual home and became the first captain to win a league title with Stockport County in more than 50 years as the Hatters finished top of the National League North in Paul’s first full season back under Jim Gannon.

At the age of 30, Paul has now made more than 400 senior appearances throughout his career and, if selected, will step out for his 250th County  appearance this evening as the Hatters bid to claim a place in the third round of the FA Trophy.

Congratulations, Bully!

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