Tributes paid to non-league legend Steve Page

Steve Page, left, with Tony Armstrong at Harwich Golf Club

Steve Page, left, with Tony Armstrong at Harwich Golf Club

TRIBUTES were yesterday paid to legendary non-league defender Steve Page, after he passed away at the age of 72.

Page joined Harwich & Parkeston in the 1960s when they were in the Athenian League and later played for the Shrimpers in the Isthmian League, before signing for Felixstowe Town in the early 1970s.

He later became Felixstowe’s secretary and was also the club’s Suffolk FA representative.

Harwich & Parkeston chairman Tony Armstrong said: “He was a legend at Harwich and in non-league circles.

“He played nearly 600 games when the club was on the up in the Athenian and Isthmian Leagues.

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“He was a perfect gentleman and I think he was only booked once while he was at Harwich, where as a captain, a leader and an organiser he was totally respected by everyone who knew him.”

Armstrong said that the club would be holding a minute’s silence before today’s game against Alresford Colne Rangers in the Kent Blaxill Border League Premier Division and that he had specially ordered a flag which would fly at half mast until the funeral.

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Dave Ashford, Felixstowe & Walton United’s president, said: “I have been friends with Steve since 1965 when we played together at Harwich & Parkeston, and got him to move to Felixstowe in the early 1970s, where he was a wonderful servant of the club.

“When he was at Harwich, in my opinion, had he been with a more fashionable club he would have played for the England Amateur side.

“He was a tremendous player, who was hard but very fair and played with a Corinthian spirit.

“He was the most honest man I have ever come across and I am proud to have known him.”

Former EADT journalist Neal Manning, who saw Page play in his pomp, said: “He was a dominating defender. He could read the game like a book and he was both quick and strong.

“He had all the attributes and if he was playing today could have performed at a much higher level.”

Page was a 100-yard and 220-yard sprint champion in his youth and was invited for AAA trials.

He was also a member of Rushmere Golf Club on the outskirts of Ipswich for 25 years and was club captain in 1993.

Club secretary Bob Tawell said: “He was a big supporter and valued member of the club.

“Quite a few people, myself included, have been in shock this morning.

“I used to talk football with him almost every day for the last ten years as he walked his two dogs across the heath.”

The son of Henry Page, who ran top Ipswich Sunday side Parkside, Steve was an Ipswich Town fan for many years and was involved with St John’s FC in Ipswich for many years.

He was a mathematics and PE teacher, working at Tower Ramparts School in Ipswich, before moving to Chantry High School, where he taught for many years before retiring.

Page was travelling to Plymouth yesterday with ex-Ipswich Town defender John Peddelty when it is understood he suffered a heart attack and died soon afterwards.

He leaves a wife, Margaret, two sons, Martin and Simon, and a daughter Kate, as well as grandchildren.

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