Robert Page (footballer)

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Robert Page
Page, Robert.jpg
Personal information
Full name Robert Page
Date of birth (1974-09-03) 3 September 1974 (age 39)
Place of birth Llwynypia, Wales
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–2001 Watford 218 (2)
2001 Sheffield United (loan) 3 (0)
2001–2004 Sheffield United 107 (1)
2004–2005 Cardiff City 9 (0)
2005–2008 Coventry City 70 (1)
2008 Huddersfield Town 18 (1)
2008–2011 Chesterfield 56 (1)
Total 481 (6)
National team
Wales U21 4 (0)
1996–2005 Wales 41 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Robert Page (born 3 September 1974) is a Welsh former international football defender, now assistant manager to Micky Adams at Port Vale. In an eighteen-year career in the Premier League and the Football League he made 475 league appearances for six different clubs. He both captained a team and scored a goal in all top four divisions of English football.[1]

He began his career with Watford in 1993, who he would captain to two successive promotions in 1998 and 1999, thereby winning the club a place in the top-flight of English football. Two years later he transferred to Sheffield United, where he would play over 100 games in a three-year stay. He signed with Cardiff City in 2004, before moving on to Coventry City the following year. In 2008 he moved on to Chesterfield via Huddersfield Town, before retiring in 2011.

He also gained 41 caps for Wales in a ten-year international career, captaining the side once, before he retired from international football in September 2006.

Playing career[edit]

Watford[edit]

Page started his career at Watford in 1993. He established himself as a key member of the first team under Kenny Jackett, playing 42 games in the 1996–97 campaign. His first major feat with the club came in 1997–98, when Graham Taylor led the "Hornets" to the Second Division title. He made 49 appearances in league and cup, and ensured the "Hornets" earned a vital point at second-place Bristol City in his final game of the season. A greater feat was in store the following season though, as he made 42 First Division appearances to help Watford to a fifth place finish. After defeating Birmingham City in the play-off semi-finals, Page marshalled the Watford defence to a clean sheet in the final, as Watford defeated Bolton Wanderers 2–0 to win a place in the Premier League.

As expected Watford were relegated at the end of their maiden season in the Premier League. However Page did play in some memorable moments for the club, including a 1–0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield and another 1–0 victory over Chelsea at Vicarage Road. He also scored against Sheffield Wednesday to win the club a point at Hillsborough. At the end of the season club captain Page was voted Watford Player of the Season. He remained with Watford for the 2000–01 campaign, making 42 appearances in league and cup. In May 2001, in one of his first acts as manager, Gianluca Vialli transfer listed the player,[2] demanding a £1 million fee from prospective clubs.[3]

Sheffield United[edit]

He was loaned out to First Division rivals Sheffield United in August 2001,[4] before moving to Bramall Lane permanently the next month for a £350,000 fee. He went on to make 45 appearances for the club in the 2001–02 campaign. The next season he captained the "Blades" to a third place finish. He played in the club's play-off semi-final victory over Nottingham Forest, but was powerless to stop Wolverhampton Wanderers winning 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium. Neil Warnock also led the "Blades" to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup in 2003, where they were beaten by Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. He recovered from an ankle injury to make 35 appearances in 2003–04,[5] as United finish two points outside of the play-off zone.

Cardiff City and Coventry City[edit]

He moved to Championship rivals Cardiff City on a free transfer in July 2004.[6] Finding first team opportunities limited under manager Lennie Lawrence,[7] he left Ninian Park in February 2005 after making only nine appearances. He first team opportunities were limited by the fine centre-back partnership of Danny Gabbidon and James Collins.[8]

Coventry City manager Micky Adams signed Page in February 2005.[9] Page was soon struck down with a knee injury.[10] In September 2005 he was handed a three match suspension by The Football Association after fighting with Southampton defender Darren Powell.[11] He made 34 appearances in 2005–06, as Coventry finished in mid-table. At the end of the campaign he underwent major hip surgery.[12]

Signing an extended contract in September 2006,[13] Adams appointed Page as club captain in November,[14] though his contribution was more limited in 2006–07, as he picked up ten bookings in his 29 league appearances. He also hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in January 2007, after he and vice-captain Michael Doyle injured each other after fighting each other on the club's training ground.[15][16] The Daily Mail reported that Page knocked out his teammates teeth during the brawl.[17] After just two appearances in the first half of the 2007–08 season, he left the Ricoh Arena in the January transfer window.

Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield[edit]

In January 2008, he joined Huddersfield Town in League One.[18] On 26 January, he made his Town debut in an FA Cup Fourth Round win at Oldham Athletic.[19] He made his Town league debut three days later in a 1–0 win over Bournemouth at the Galpharm Stadium. In his four games for Huddersfield the "Terriers" recorded four wins and four clean sheets. He scored his first goal for the club in their FA Cup defeat against Carlisle United at Brunton Park on 12 February 2008. Following Andy Ritchie's departure as manager, caretaker manager Gerry Murphy made Page captain of the team until the end of the season, replacing previous captain Jon Worthington. However, it was then revealed on 2 May, that contract talks had broken down between Page and new manager Stan Ternent.

On 5 May 2008, it was revealed that Page had agreed a pre-contract agreement at League Two side Chesterfield.[20] Manager Lee Richardson initially appointed Page as club captain,[21] but after a string of poor performances and a red card at Dagenham & Redbridge,[22] Page was dropped from the squad and his captaincy was relinquished. By the end of the season he made just eighteen starts,[23] and Richardson announced he was willing to listen to offers for the player.[24]

In July 2009, Page was offered a player-coach role at Port Vale under Micky Adams,[25] but he decided to stay at Chesterfield. Richardson was relieved of his duties in May 2009, and his replacement, John Sheridan brought Ian Breckin to the club, who formed a strong early defensive partnership with Page. He played a total of 42 games in the 2009–10 campaign. After an achilles injury limited Page to just two appearances in 2010–11,[26] he was released by the club in March 2011.[27]

International career[edit]

Page represented Wales, gaining 41 caps, captaining the side once.[28] He said that captaining Wales to a 2–0 victory over Hungary in February 2005 was the proudest moment of his career.[29] He retired from international football in September 2006, at the age of 32, citing a wish to see more of his young family.[28] He made the decision to retire days after being re-called to the Wales squad by manager John Toshack for the Euro 2008 qualifiers.[30]

Coaching career[edit]

Page did radio commentary on a number of Watford games.[31]

In July 2011, Micky Adams again offered Page a coaching role at League Two Port Vale.[25] Page accepted, and was given a role in the club's youth set-up.[32] He was promoted to first team coach in May 2012, following the retirement of Geoff Horsfield.[33]

In October 2012, Page was named as the bookmaker's favourite to become the next AFC Wimbledon manager.[34] The job instead went to Neal Ardley.[35] In May 2013, Page was reported to be one of two names considered for the vacant management position at former club Sheffield United;[36] however David Weir was instead appointed as manager.[37]

On 22 September 2013, Page was put in temporary charge of first team affairs at Vale Park after Micky Adams took the decision to take time off work to have hip replacement surgery.[38] In his first match in charge the "Valiants" recorded a 1–0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.[39] He was promoted to the role of assistant manager in July 2014.[40]

Honours[edit]

Individual
with Watford

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Port Vale: Page eager to take first coaching steps". The Sentinel. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Page on transfer list". BBC Sport. 22 May 2001. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Page anger at transfer fee". BBC Sport. 31 May 2001. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Page makes Blades switch". BBC Sport. 6 August 2001. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Injuries easing for Blades". BBC Sport. 18 November 2003. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Page seals Cardiff switch". BBC Sport. 2 July 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Page pledges to stay at Cardiff". BBC Sport. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Evans, Rhys (6 November 2005). "Page turns on the style". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Page completes switch to Coventry". BBC Sport. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Page making slow injury recovery". BBC Sport. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Powell and Page handed FA charges". BBC Sport. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Page comeback in Coventry victory". BBC Sport. 25 July 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Page extends Coventry contract". BBC Sport. 12 September 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Page named as Coventry captain". BBC Sport. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sky Blues punish Page and Doyle". BBC Sport. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "Saturday's football gossip". BBC Sport. 27 January 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Friday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Huddersfield complete Page swoop". BBC Sport. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Oldham 0-1 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "Page agrees to Spireites switch". BBC Sport. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Page named Chesterfield skipper". BBC Sport. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  22. ^ "Dag & Red 3-0 Chesterfield". BBC Sport. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "Page hoping for a 'clean slate'". BBC Sport. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "Richardson open to offers for duo". BBC Sport. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  25. ^ a b "Port Vale: Page set for Vale Park coaching role". The Sentinel. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  26. ^ "Chesterfield consider adding to defensive options". BBC Sport. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Rob Page leaves the Spireites". chesterfield-fc.co.uk. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Page calls time on Wales career". BBC Sport. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  29. ^ Phillips, Terry (29 September 2006). "Page insists his retirement decision was for the right reasons.". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  30. ^ Bloom, Mark (28 September 2006). "It's a new chapter in Page's international career with Wales.". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  31. ^ "Danny Graham will thrive at Swansea, says Robert Page". BBC Sport. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  32. ^ "New Coaching Set-up". port-vale.co.uk. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  33. ^ "Page steps up". port-vale.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  34. ^ Murtagh, Jacob (8 October 2012). "Former Watford man emerges as shock favourite for Dons post". Hounslow Chronicle. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  35. ^ "AFC Wimbledon appoint Neal Ardley as new manager". BBC Sport. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "Sheffield United: Robert Page in contention for manager's job". BBC Sport. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Sheffield United appoint Everton coach as boss". BBC Sport. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  38. ^ Baggaley, Mike (22 September 2013). "Vale boss Adams temporarily steps down from first-team duties". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  39. ^ "Tranmere 0 - 1 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  40. ^ "Port Vale sign Coventry City winger". BBC Sport. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

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