The annals of football history are filled with unexpected heroes and unforeseen tales. Louis Page's remarkable story is one such instance. It is often said that fortune favors the brave, but for Louis Page, fortune favored the begrudgingly relocated.
Best known as the only Burnley player to ever notch a double hat-trick in a professional match, the tale becomes all the more captivating when you learn that Page wasn't even a natural striker. On that day in April 1926, Louis Page was thrust into the limelight in Burnley's clash against Birmingham City. The team was undergoing a tumultuous period due to the change in the offside rule, which seemed to turn football upside down for many teams, including Burnley.
Born on 27 March 1899, Louis Page's early football career saw him play for Sudley Juniors, Everton, and South Liverpool. He would go on to sign a professional contract with Stoke City, making over 100 league appearances. But his move to Burnley was where his destiny awaited him. The move involved a player exchange that saw Burnley's Jack Tresadern, an ex-England International, move in the opposite direction.
His debut season at Turf Moor saw him outscore the legendary George Beel. His impressive form continued, and he earned 7 caps for the England national team in 1927. In one such international outing, he even found the net in a commanding 9-1 win over Belgium.
The infamous match against Birmingham City in 1926 showcased Page's raw talent, adaptability, and nose for the goal. He may have begun the match begrudgingly, unhappy at being made to play out of position in the striker's role, but by the end, he had single-handedly demolished Birmingham with six goals, creating an enduring memory for Burnley fans.
However, his prolific scoring wasn't enough to steady Burnley's ship during a turbulent period, and the club faced relegation in 1930. By March 1932, Page had moved to Manchester United. His time there was brief, with subsequent stints at Port Vale, and then as a player-manager for Yeovil & Petters United.
Page then transitioned to management roles at Newport County and Swindon Town. It was during his tenure at Swindon Town that he masterminded a victory to knock Burnley out of the FA Cup in 1948. Page's last management role was at Chester, after which he took up a scouting position at Leicester City.
Sadly, after an illustrious career filled with highs, lows, and unexpected turns, Louis Page passed away on 12 October 1959 at Birkenhead Hospital following a short illness. His legacy, however, remains in the history books and in the hearts of those who witnessed his incredible feat on that memorable day in 1926.