Dave Turner was born in Retford, Nottinghamshire. He played schools football for his county, and joined Newcastle United straight from school. He turned professional in 1960, and was a member of the team that won the 1961-62 FA Youth Cup. He made his first-team debut on the last day of the 1961-62 league season, a 3–0 defeat at home to Leeds United in the Second Division, and appeared twice more before moving on to Brighton & Hove Albion in December 1963 for a £4,500 fee.
He soon established himself in the team, and settled so well that he was appointed captain during the 1966–67 season. Despite knee injuries that affected his last couple of seasons with the club he took his totals to 30 goals from exactly 300 appearances in the league, 34 from 338 in all first-team competitions. He was given a free transfer at the end of the 1971–72 season, and spent two years at Blackburn Rovers before the knee problems forced his retirement.
Dave Turner spent time on the coaching staff of Sheffield United and Aldershot before moving to Canada in 1979 where he coached and managed. He returned to England 1990 and rejoined Aldershot’s staff.