Bert Payne spent the 1952-53 season with St Albans City having joined the Saints in the summer from Athenian League champions Wealdstone. A wing-half, he was one of three players to move from Lower Mead to Clarence Park that summer, the others being Charlie Barker and Ted Hornsby.
Bert made his City debut on 20th August 1952 in a 3-0 defeat to Leytonstone at Clarence Park, the Stones had won the Isthmian League for each of the previous three seasons. He tasted victory for the first time in a City shirt the following Thursday when Ilford were beaten 3-2 at the Park but it was to be his last First team appearance until the turn of the year. For the remainder of the year he turned out for the City Reserves and on 22nd November scored his only goals for the Saints when bagging a pair at Hayes Lane during a 4-2 win over Bromley Reserves.
He returned to the First team for the visit of Oxford City on 3rd January and gave an inspired performance in helping the Saints to a 4-3 win, it was the first success for Billy Williamsâ€™ team for a month. City saw out the season in a comfortable mid-table position, finishing ninth in a 15-team Isthmian League, but reached the final of both the Herts Senior and Herts Charity cups.
Bert played in the semi-final victory over Hitchin Town in the Charity Cup but was omitted from the side that defeated Barnet in the final. He featured in the side that saw off Letchworth Town and Barnet in the Senior Cup and took his place in the final against Berkhamsted Town but returned from the final at Underhill, Barnet, with a runners-up plaque after City went down 4-2 in what was to be his 16th, and final, First team game for the club.
His days as a First team player may have been over but he saw out the season with four more games for the Reserves, taking his total of appearances for the second string to 13.
Born on 14th December 1923, Bert Payne served with the R.A.F. during World War Two where he earned the nickname â€˜Wacker,â€™ possible due to the manner in which he wielded a cricket bat his daughter Jenny believes.
In 1945 he played for Barry Town whilst stationed at R.A.F. St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan. Three years later he was with Athenian League side Hayes and joined Wealdstone for the 1951-52 season. The following season saw him at Clarence Park but he left at the end of that season when he could not be guaranteed a First team place. The 1953-54 season saw Bert back at Wealdstone where he remained until the summer of 1955 and scored five times in 38 games. He did, though, also make two appearances for Hounslow Town Reserves during 1954.
With his playing days behind him, Bert moved with his wife and daughters to High Wycombe in 1956 where he took up Refereeing. He was also a keen golfer and got his handicap down to eight.
Bert Payne passed away on 12th April 1975. He is pictured here (front row, right) with the Hayes team for the 1948-49 season prior to a 3-2 Amateur Cup defeat to Yiewsley on 20th November in front of 4,770 spectators at Church Road.