Payne was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. He is the son of Karen, an infant nurse, and Geoff Payne, a fitter. He has two older sisters, Nicola and Ruth. Payne was born three weeks early, getting ill frequently. Until the age of four, Payne had regular tests done in hospital as doctors noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, he had sixteen injections in his arm every morning and another sixteen every evening as a child. As a student, Payne was heavily involved in sports, particularly cross country running. Payne originally joined the Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club to pursue his running career. After failing to make the English National Team for the 2012 Olympic Games, he was placed on the reserve list.