A West Brom blind football team team photo with players wearing their white and navy blue striped shirts, with coaches in black tracksuits.
Each Thursday we want to put the spotlight on a person involved with goalball – from players, officials, coaches, or anyone

This week we caught up with Mark Turnham!

What club do you play for or coach?

I play for Mersey Sharks in the Intermediate League and Birmingham in the Elite League.

Mark Turnham with his back to camera whilst listening to his coach, Kerry giving feedback at half time.

How did you discover goalball?

Back in 1996 when I was at college in Loughborough, a former player and Great Britain international called Barrie Lane also attended the college. He introduced a few of us to the sport and we competed as Loughborough. Later I joined him to form West Midlands. I then left the sport, in around 2007, to focus on cricket. I decided to make a comeback in 2020, playing my first tournament in 13 years for Mersey Sharks at the Intermediate Trophy. Realising I still wasn’t too bad at the sport, I also joined Birmingham to play in their Elite team.

Birmingham elite team standing on court with arms around each other, all players are wearing patches.

Is there a particular song, artist or genre that you listen to before a tournament to get in the mood? Or anything you’re loving at the moment?
Before any tournament, whether it is goalball or any other sport, I tend to go towards rock or hard rock, but generally, my music tastes are quite wide-ranging, as long as it is not rap or R&B.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?

I don’t like to be rushed so I like to be early to build up towards the game. I also like to warm my shoulders up with a series of exercises with a theraband before each game.

Do you have a favourite post-match meal?

As long as meat is involved, I’ll eat anything!

Which goalball player do you admire the most and why?

No one in particular, but what I will say is anyone who is committed to representing Great Britain gets my vote.

Outside of goalball, what other hobbies/sports do you do?

My main sport is blind cricket – I am currently on the England squad. I also play blind football in the national league. I enjoy listening to audiobooks mainly in the crime and thriller genre. I am also a supporter of Chelsea Football Club and do try to go to a few games a season.

A group of people stood together at a blind cricket event, all players are wearing navy blue shirts and someone is holding a trophy!

Finally, what place, anywhere in the world, is on your bucket list to visit and why?

My wife and I have 3 main ideas on our bucket list:

  1. A Grand Prix weekend somewhere in Europe, probably Imola in Italy.
  2. A Caribbean cruise.
  3. A stay at the Hotel Chocolat holiday resort in St Lucia.

We just need our daughters to leave home so we can afford it – just a few years to go!!!

 To check out the rest of the articles from our ‘Featured Thursday’ series please use the following link Goalball UK – Featured Thursday.