Robert John Page (born 3 September 1974) is a Welsh former professional footballer and manager, who now manages the Wales under-21 team. In an eighteen-year career in the Premier League and the Football League he made 550 competitive appearances for six different clubs. He both captained a team and scored a goal in all top four divisions of English football. 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.
Page pictured in July 2010
|Full name||Robert John Page|
|Date of birth||3 September 1974|
|Place of birth||Llwynypia, Wales|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2001||→ Sheffield United (loan)||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
A defender, he began his career with Watford in 1993, who he would captain to two promotions, winning the Second Division title in 1997–98 and the First Division play-off final in 1999. He went on to be voted the club's Player of the Season in their 1999–2000 Premier League campaign. He was sold to Sheffield United for a £350,000 fee in September 2001, and helped the club to reach the First Division play-off final in 2003, as well the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup. He signed with Cardiff City in July 2004, before moving on to Coventry City in February 2005. He joined Huddersfield Town in January 2008, before moving on to Chesterfield in May 2008 and announcing his retirement in March 2011.
He worked as a coach at Port Vale for three years before he was appointed as manager, initially on a caretaker basis, in September 2014. In May 2016, he was appointed manager of Northampton Town on a three-year contract, but was sacked in January 2017. He was appointed Wales under-21 manager two months later.
Page started his professional career at Watford in 1993, having been with the club from the age of 11. He established himself as a key member of the first team under manager Kenny Jackett, playing 42 games in the 1996–97 campaign. His first major feat with the club came in the 1997–98 season, when new manager Graham Taylor appointed Page as captain and led the "Hornets" to the Second Division title. He made 49 appearances in league and cup competitions, and ensured the "Hornets" earned a vital point at second-place Bristol City in his final game of the season. Dropped at the start of the 1998–99 season in favour of Dean Yates, he soon was returned to the starting eleven alongside centre-back partner Steve Palmer and 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. Page was also voted Watford Player of the Season. He remained with Watford for the 2000–01 campaign, making 42 appearances in league and cup competitions. In May 2001, in one of his first acts as manager, Gianluca Vialli transfer listed Page, demanding a £1 million fee from prospective clubs.
He was loaned out to First Division rivals Sheffield United in August 2001, 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, as United finish two points outside of the play-off zone.
He moved to Championship rivals Cardiff City on a free transfer in July 2004. Finding himself on the bench under manager Lennie Lawrence, he left Ninian Park in February 2005 after making only nine appearances. His first team opportunities were limited by the fine centre-back partnership of Danny Gabbidon and James Collins.
Coventry City manager Micky Adams signed Page in February 2005. Page was soon struck down with a knee injury. In September 2005 he was handed a three match suspension by The Football Association after fighting with Southampton defender Darren Powell. He made 34 appearances in the 2005–06 season, as Coventry finished mid-table in the Championship. At the end of the campaign he underwent major hip surgery.
Page signed an extended contract in September 2006, and was appointed as club captain in November, though his contribution was more limited in the 2006–07 season 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. The Daily Mail reported that Page knocked out his teammate's teeth during the brawl. Page was then frozen out of the first team by new manager Iain Dowie. After just two appearances in the first half of the 2007–08 season, he left the Ricoh Arena in the January transfer window.
In January 2008, he joined Huddersfield Town in League One as manager Andy Ritchie wanted to add experience to his young defensive back line. On 26 January, he made his Town debut in an FA Cup Fourth Round win at Oldham Athletic. 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 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. New manager Stan Ternent entered negotiations to offer Page a new contract in the summer, but after Page left the club before a contract was offered Ternent told the press that "he’s certainly replaceable".
In May 2008, Page signed with League Two side Chesterfield. Manager Lee Richardson initially appointed Page as club captain, but after a string of poor performances and a red card at Dagenham & Redbridge, Page was dropped from the squad and his captaincy was relinquished. By the end of the season he made just eighteen starts, and Richardson announced he was willing to listen to offers for the player.
In July 2009, Page was offered a player-coach role at Port Vale under Micky Adams, but he decided to stay at Chesterfield. Richardson was relieved of his duties in summer 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 tendon injury limited Page to just two appearances in the 2010–11 season, he was released by the club in March 2011.
Page represented Wales, gaining 41 caps, captaining the side once. He said that captaining Wales to a 2–0 victory over Hungary in February 2005 was the proudest moment of his career. He retired from international football in September 2006, at the age of 32, citing a wish to see more of his young family. He made the decision to retire days after being re-called to the Wales squad by manager John Toshack for the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
In July 2011, Micky Adams again offered Page a coaching role at League Two club Port Vale. Page accepted, and was given a role in the club's youth set-up. He was promoted to first team coach in May 2012, following the retirement of Geoff Horsfield. In October 2012, Page was named as the bookmaker's favourite to become the next AFC Wimbledon manager. The job instead went to Neal Ardley. In May 2013, Page was reported to be one of two names considered for the vacant management position at former club Sheffield United; however David Weir was instead appointed as manager. At the end of the 2012–13 season Port Vale were promoted into League One. 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. In his first match in charge the "Valiants" recorded a 1–0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
He was promoted to the role of assistant manager in July 2014. He was appointed caretaker-manager following Adams resignation on 18 September 2014, and initially was given "until the end of October" to prove his capabilities as manager. He won his first game in charge at Vale Park two days later after a late Mark Marshall goal gave the Vale a 2–1 victory over Barnsley. He made his first two signings at the end of the month, bringing in defenders Stéphane Zubar and Reiss Greenidge on loan. In October he made his first permanent signing, bringing in free agent striker Dany N'Guessan on a two-month contract. Having taken the club up seven league places within six weeks he was appointed as manager on a permanent basis on 29 October. He introduced a more possession-based style to the club, relying less on direct football. He was nominated for the League One Manager of the Month award in February after overseeing a run of three successive clean sheet victories in the club's six games. Following this the club went on a run of just one win in eleven games, but still finished above the relegation zone. He signed a new two-year contract in May 2015.
Page needed to avoid a poor start to the 2015–16 season as chairman Norman Smurthwaite warned he was prepared to make "ruthless decisions" if the club were struggling by September. Page made nine new signings during pre-season – Sam Kelly, Sam Foley, Anthony Grant, Ben Purkiss, Remie Streete, AJ Leitch-Smith, Jak Alnwick, Uche Ikpeazu, and Ryan Inniss – citing the need to sign players who "desire success". He was nominated for the League One Manager of the Month award in November following a sequence of three wins out of four which moved Vale to the fringes of the promotion race. However a defeat to League Two side Exeter City in the Second Round of the FA Cup brought speculation over Page's future as manager. He retained his position however, and after leading the club to a 12th-place finish he was linked with various management vacancies in the summer.
On 19 May 2016, Page joined Northampton Town as their new manager on a three-year contract; Northampton had just won promotion into League One as champions of League Two. He stated that he saw Northampton as "the next step for me and something I'm really looking forward to", and cited the positivity of chairman Kelvin Thomas as a major factor in his decision to join the club. The "Cobblers" went unbeaten in his first six games in charge, which included a penalty shoot-out victory over Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in the second round of the EFL Cup. Northampton's reward for eliminating West Brom was a home tie with Manchester United. However he apologised for stating that it was "men against girls" after his side slumped to a ninth defeat in eleven games with a 5–0 defeat to Bristol Rovers on 7 January. He was sacked two days later, with Northampton 16th in League One and eliminated from the FA Cup by non-league Stourbridge.
Page began coaching at Nottingham Forest in January 2017. He was appointed manager of the Wales under-21 team on 15 March 2017, signing a four-year deal. He was also put in charge of the under-17 and under-19 teams, and stood down from his position as a coach at Nottingham Forest.
Style of managementEdit
Speaking in December 2015, Page described his preferred tactics as including attacking full-backs playing high up the pitch, a defensive midfielder allied to a more attacking central midfielder, and pace on the wings and forward positions.
Club playing statisticsEdit
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Sheffield United||2001–02||First Division||43||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||45||0|
|Huddersfield Town||2007–08||League One||18||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||20||1|
International playing statisticsEdit
|Wales national team|
- As of match played 16 October 2018
|Port Vale||18 September 2014||19 May 2016||93||35||20||38||37.6|||
|Northampton Town||19 May 2016||9 January 2017||34||10||8||16||29.4|||
|Wales U21||15 March 2017||Present||15||5||5||5||33.3|
- Football League Second Division champion: 1997–98
- Football League First Division play-off winner: 1999
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- "Page completes switch to Coventry". BBC Sport. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
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- "Sky Blues punish Page and Doyle". BBC Sport. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Saturday's football gossip". BBC Sport. 27 January 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Friday's gossip column". BBC Sport. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
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- "Huddersfield complete Page swoop". BBC Sport. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
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- "Page named Chesterfield skipper". BBC Sport. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Dag & Red 3-0 Chesterfield". BBC Sport. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Page hoping for a 'clean slate'". BBC Sport. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Richardson open to offers for duo". BBC Sport. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
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- "Chesterfield consider adding to defensive options". BBC Sport. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Rob Page leaves the Spireites". chesterfield-fc.co.uk. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- "Page calls time on Wales career". BBC Sport. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Phillips, Terry (29 September 2006). "Page insists his retirement decision was for the right reasons". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- Bloom, Mark (28 September 2006). "It's a new chapter in Page's international career with Wales". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- "New Coaching Set-up". port-vale.co.uk. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
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- "AFC Wimbledon appoint Neal Ardley as new manager". BBC Sport. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Sheffield United: Robert Page in contention for manager's job". BBC Sport. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Sheffield United appoint Everton coach as boss". BBC Sport. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Baggaley, Mike (22 September 2013). "Vale boss Adams temporarily steps down from first-team duties". The Sentinel. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Tranmere 0 - 1 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "Port Vale sign Coventry City winger". BBC Sport. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Robert Page: Port Vale to give caretaker boss six-week chance". BBC Sport. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Port Vale 2 - 1 Barnsley". BBC Sport. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- "Stephane Zubar and Reiss Greenidge arrive on loan". BBC Sport. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Port Vale sign striker on two-month contract". BBC Sport. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
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- "Style of play is right up my street, says Louis Dodds". The Sentinel. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Sharpe, Rich (4 March 2015). "Rob Page nominated for League One manager of the month". The Sentinel. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "Rob Page proud of first season in management". The Sentinel. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Rob Page: Port Vale award new two-year contract to manager". BBC Sport. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- "Rob Page looks to build as chairman backs him at least until September". The Sentinel. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Port Vale: Players must rise to challenge of competition - Page". BBC Sport. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Manager Rob Page nominated for November manager of the month award". The Sentinel. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- "Rob Page: Port Vale boss not fearing the sack after FA Cup exit". BBC Sport. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
- "Rob Page: Port Vale midfielder Anthony Grant 'not surprised' at interest in manager". BBC Sport. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "Rob Page: Northampton Town appoint Port Vale manager to replace Chris Wilder". BBC Sport. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Rob Page: Northampton Town chairman key to him taking manager's job". BBC Sport. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Rob Page: 'Nightmare' to watch Northampton Town penalty shootout". BBC Sport. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "EFL Cup: Northampton Town to host Manchester United in third round". BBC Sport. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Rob Page: Northampton Town boss apologises for 'men against girls' comment". BBC Sport. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Rob Page: Northampton Town sack manager". BBC Sport. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- Baggaley, Mike (23 January 2017). "Former Port Vale boss Rob Page is coaching at Nottingham Forest". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "Robert Page: Former Northampton Town boss named Wales Under-21 manager". BBC Sport. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "New U21 boss Robert Page wants players to choose Wales over England". BBC Sport. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "Rob Page says Vale plan is taking shape". The Sentinel. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including play-off games and the Football League Trophy.
- English National Football Archive
- "Games played by Rob Page in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Games played by Rob Page in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Robert Page". 11v11.com. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Rob Page management career statistics at Soccerbase