When you think of backup keepers over the past decade at Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini, Mark Schwarzer, or Asmir Begovic may come to mind.
This week’s Forgotten Blue might not be at the forefront of your minds, probably because he warmed the bench more times than he played.
Ross Turnbull is this week’s player.
At Middlesbrough, Turnbull spent the majority of his earlier career sent out on loan to various sides across the Football League. The goalkeeper had spells at Darlington, Barnsley, Bradford City, Crewe Alexandra, and Cardiff City.
During the 2008/09 he would become Boro’s first choice, as the side finished 19th and were relegated from the Premier League, and in June 2009 he rejected a new contract offer from Middlesbrough and left the club.
Surprisingly, Chelsea announced the signing of Turnbull in July. Upon signing, he said that wouldn’t be content with sitting on the bench, and that he would challenge Petr Cech for the number one spot.
In his first season at Stamford Bridge, he made five appearances in all competitions, only keeping a clean sheet in one game; a League Cup fixture against Bolton Wanderers.
The following season was more of the same for Turnbull, as he remained as second choice behind Petr Cech. He only made two appearances during the season; a League Cup defeat to Newcastle United, and a win in the Champions League against MSK Zilina.
2011/12 saw Turnbull get more playing time, slightly. He was a penalty hero in the League Cup, as Chelsea were victorious on penalties over West London rivals Fulham. His next appearances in the League Cup saw Turnbull sent off after bringing down Louis Saha. Despite being one man down, Chelsea still beat Everton. He also played in the Quarter-Finals against Liverpool, but the Blues lost 2-0 to the Reds.
With Chelsea enjoying an impressive Champions League campaign, Turnbull was selected for the last two league games against Liverpool and Blackburn. They lost 4-1 at Anfield but ended the 2011/12 season with a 2-1 win over Blackburn.
He was also an unused substitute in the 2012 Champions League final, and subsequently picked up a winners’ medal as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties to win the competition for the first time.
The 2012/13 season was the best for Turnbull, as he made seven appearances in all competitions. But despite enjoying more playing time, Turnbull left the club following the expiration of his contract in July 2013.
After leaving Chelsea, Turnbull then signed for Doncaster Rovers and made 28 appearances as the side were relegated from the Championship.
He then moved back to Barnsley, a side he first joined on loan many seasons ago. He was the Tykes’ first choice keeper, as the side finished 11th in League One.
Leeds United were Turnbull’s next club, but he only made one League Cup appearances during his time at Elland Road. After two seasons at the club, and one appearance, Turnbull left the club in the summer of 2017.
Currently, Turnbull is a free agent and looking for a club. Perhaps Chelsea could bring him back to Stamford Bridge to challenge Thibaut Courtois for the number one spot?