Ross Turnbull ends his time as a Chelsea player today following four years at Stamford Bridge.
He signed for the Blues from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2009, and spent the majority of his time at the club as a backup goalkeeper to Petr Cech.
He made his debut during a Carling Cup match against Bolton Wanderers three months after joining, replacing the injured Henrique Hilario 23 minutes into a game we won 4-0, and his first start came shortly after in a Champions League group match at home against APOEL.
Turnbull made his Premier League debut in a 4-1 win against West Ham United in March 2010, and with both Cech and Hilario failing to recover from their respective injuries, a huge opportunity presented itself days later when he was named in the starting line-up for the second leg of our last 16 Champions League game against Inter Milan.
In a tight contest, the visitors edged it 1-0 thanks to a Samuel Eto’o goal late in the game. Turnbull had turned in a solid display, and made a decent stop to deny the goalscorer a second on the night, but we exited the competition 3-1 on aggregate.
Cech remained free from injury in the 2010/11 campaign, meaning Ross was restricted to only a couple of appearances, against Newcastle United in the Carling Cup and then MSK Zilina in the Champions League.
However, he played a pivotal role as our reserves were crowned national league champions, making a decisive penalty shoot-out save against Blackburn Rovers in the play-off final.
Appearances during the following season were once again limited, largely to the Carling Cup, with his performances dominated by a common theme – penalties.
Turnbull was the hero in the fourth-round win over local rivals Fulham when, after saving a Patjim Kasami penalty in normal time, he made two further stops – from Mousa Dembele and Bryan Ruiz – in the shoot-out to ensure our progression.
In the following round away at Everton, however, it was a different story, as he was dismissed early in the game for bringing down Louis Saha inside the box. Fortunately his replacement, Cech, saved the resulting penalty from Leighton Baines as we went on to win the game 2-1 after extra-time.
In his next outing he did well to save an Andy Carroll penalty, but we were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Turnbull played the final two games of the 2011/12 league season, a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool and a 2-1 home win over Blackburn Rovers. He was an unused substitute in Munich and received a winner’s medal.
Last season his services were first called upon away at Everton in December when Cech was forced off at half-time through injury. Turnbull played the second half, making a smart stop to deny Leon Osman as we came from behind to win 2-1.
He then played the full 90 minutes three days later as we fell to a 1-0 home defeat against Queens Park Rangers, his final appearance for the club, though he was also an unused substitute for our Europa League final win over Benfica in Amsterdam, and with his contract at an end, he now moves on after 19 appearances during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Everybody at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Ross for his service and wish him all the very best for the future.