David Turnbull: From doubts over playing again to Scotland major finals call-up

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When David Turnbull’s proposed transfer from Motherwell to Celtic broke down in the summer of 2019, after the diagnosis of a rare knee condition, the 21-year-old questioned whether he would play again.

Preventative surgery was required, along with almost a year’s worth of rehabilitation, before a move to the Parkhead club was eventually completed last August.

Less than two years on from the collapse of Celtic’s initial pursuit, Turnbull has sparked his young career back into life after being one of the club’s only shining lights in a dim and miserable season, earning himself a place in Steve Clarke’s Euro 2020 squad in the process.

“There were times back when everything went through my head,” he tells BBC Scotland. “Will I get back playing? Will I get back to my best?

“It’s been a crazy year or two since then. This probably tops it all off.”

‘My fingers were crossed for it’
In Turnbull’s darkest days, he always had his family to turn to for support.

His mother, father and brother have all been on hand to guide him through the crushing low he was dealt in June 2019, making it all the more fitting that he was in their company as they waited for the message to confirm his place on Clarke’s 26-man list.

“I had my fingers crossed for it,” Turnbull says. “But obviously you need to take into consideration the players you’re up against.

“All my family were sitting in the living room when I got the text. I was absolutely delighted and so were they. My mum gave me a big cuddle and a kiss. My brother and my dad were a bit reserved, they tried to keep calm and I was the same.”


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