In 1894 Turnbull signed for Bolton Wanderers. In his first four games he scored five goals. This got him a transfer to high-flying Blackburn Rovers. Turnbull was brought in to replace Jack Southworth who had been sold to Everton for £400. However, the club did have three talented Englishmen left in the forward line: Harry Chippendale, Jimmy Whitehead and Jamie Haydock. Chippendale and Whitehead were both English internationals and only a injury to Haydock stopped him from becoming a member of the national side.
The 1895-96 season was a major disappointment. Turnbull only managed seven in 25 games for Blackburn Rovers. The all-Scottish defence played well but the lack of goals resulted in the club finishing in 8th place in the league.
At the end of the season Turnbull rejoined Glasgow Rangers. He also played for Millwall Athletic, Queen's Park Rangers and Brentford before retiring from football.