Hatters Heroes

Luton – The Legends Series – Joe Payne

Image for Luton – The Legends Series – Joe Payne

For the latest in our ongoing series covering those who have achieved legendary status among the support, we feature another former Luton figure who became a fans favourite.

Following on from those already covered – John Moore, David Preece, Mal Donaghy, Brian Lewis, Bruce Rioch, Fred Jardine, Brian Horton, Kevin Nicholls, Tony Read, Steve Foster, Mike Keen, Ian Buxton, Lars Elstrup, Peter Anderson, Graham French, Alan West, David Moss, Terry Branston, John Aston, Paul Futcher, John Ryan, Syd Owen, Marvin Johnson, Malcolm MacDonald, Bob Hatton, Steve Buckley,Chris Coyne, Ron Baynham, John Still, Jack Bannister, Ricky Hill, Chris Nicholl, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Don Givens, Gordon Turner, Brian Stein, Jesse Pye and Raddy Antic

In the latest of our ongoing legends series, we’re taking a look at the career of Joe Payne, as suggested by Dave Howard.

I’m in the camp that firmly believes that records are there to be broken, very few survive the test of time.

But, a record set, by Joe Payne, on 13-April-1936 could, quite possibly, last for ever.

On that momentous day, the Luton Town striker, Joe Payne, scored TEN goals as the Hatters battered Bristol Rovers 12-0. Three of Joe’s goals came in the first half and a further seven in the second half.

Will it ever be beaten?

Joe’s journey, to become a Hatter, started when he was spotted playing as a centre forward for Bolsover Colliery and recommended to the Hatters by a Luton supporter.

Signed in 1934, Joe spent time out on loan at Biggleswade Town, deployed in a half-back position.

His Luton debut came against Southend United in December 1934 and he only made one further appearance that season.

Appearances the following season, 1935/1936 were just as sparse, with Joe starting four games as a half-back but not making the side between the months of October through to that remarkable day in April 1936, a day we’ve previously mentioned.

For his feats on that remarkable day, he received his wage of £4 plus a bonus of another £2, in stark contrast to the fortunes earned by the stars of today.

The record goalscoring exploits seemed to kick-start his career and in the 1936/1937 season, he went on to score a colossal 55 goals in 39 matches with Luton storming to the Third Division South title.

Those remarkable scoring exploits saw Payne selected for England, for whom he scored a brace in an 8-0 win over Finland. Strangely enough, it was to be his only full international cap.

Unfortunately, his scoring exploits were noted by other clubs and in March 1938, Chelsea paid a fee of £5000 for his services.

While with Chelsea, his career was interrupted by the Second World War. Following the conclusion of the war, Joe was to later join two other London clubs, West Ham United and Millwall, although, due to injuries, he never made an appearance for the South London club.

After his career came to an end, Joe returned to Luton where he worked and lived until he sadly passed away, aged just 61-years-of-age.

A goalscoring legend who, to this day, retains a place in the record books of the Football League, how I wish the remarkable 10-goal achievement had been committed to film for us all to see.

Joe Payne – Mini Fact File

Name – Joseph Payne

Date of Birth – 17-January-1914

Place of Birth – Brimington Common, Derbyshire

Position – Centre Forward

Playing Career – Bolsover Colliery, Luton Town, Biggleswade Town (loan), Chelsea, West Ham United, Millwall

International Career – England

If you feel able to share any of your thoughts or memories on the Hatters career of Joe Payne, please feel free to do so in the comment facility beneath this article.

If you can think of anyone who deserves nominating for coverage in this ongoing series, please drop their name into the comment facility beneath this article.

My thanks go to those who have already nominated faces from the past, they will all be covered, in time.

Next up in the series will be – Max Dougan as suggested by Joe Fountain


Previous article by Mad Hatter

Luton Town – Success Inevitably Brings Change

Share this article

Welcome To My Tea Party!


  • Billy says:

    10 goals in one game, what an achievement. These days most strikers would be happy with 10 in a season

  • M Cook says:

    I was told that on the day he scored 10 ,the strike went sick the club put out a tannoy message for Joe Payne to go to the changing room where he had to borrow a pair of boots

  • redditsoccerstream says:

    I’ve found some great alternative subreddits for watching soccer matches, but it’s a shame that they can’t offer the same level of accessibility as Soccer Streams did. I hope the public can continue to find ways to share links without violating copyright laws.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *