Whatever happened to Joe Baker?

The Arsenal History Society is part of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association – a body which gives positive support to the club, and has regular meetings with directors and senior officials of the club to represent the views of its members to the club.  You can read more about AISA on its website.

Below you will find today’s feature, and the list of anniversaries for today.  But first…

We currently have two books available.

“Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football” is the definitive history of Arsenal from its inception, and “Making the Arsenal” is a novel which tells the story of Arsenal in 1910.

Both books are now available on Kindle and in print.    Please see here for more details.   

On this site we have hundreds of series of articles on Arsenal history and a full list of the various series of articles on Arsenal’s history can be found here.    Three particular highlights are…

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.

Today’s feature…. Joe Baker

After playing 144 games for Arsenal and scoring an amazing 93 goals (even more amazing because between 1962 and 1966 the club was hardly firing on all cylinders) he moved on to Nottingham Forest (41 goals in 118 games), Sunderland, (12 in 40), Hibernian (12 in 20) and Raith rovers (34 in 49) making a grand total through his career from 1957 to 1974 of 301 goals in 507 games.

Joe became Albion Rovers manager on two occasions, but did not seek to take up a full time career as a manager, and instead ran a pub and also worked for Hibernian in their hospitality service.

He sadly died at the age of 63, on 6 October 2003, after suffering a heart attack during a charity golf tournament.

Here are the anniversaries.

17 July 1897: Roger Ord joined from Hebburn Argyle.  During his time at Arsenal he kept 29 clean sheets out of his 99 games, a ratio of 3.41 percent which makes him the 16th highest on the Arsenal clean sheets list.

17 July 1888: Harry Logan born.  He signed for Arsenal in 1910 and played 11 times for the club, but was only on the winning team once.

17 July 1903: Samson Haden born near Barnsley.  He started his working life as a miner before playing for Castleford Town in March 1922, and was brought to Arsenal by Leslie Knighton and was  the player who crossed for Buchan’s first goal for Arsenal.

17 July 1922: With the Prime Minister himself implicated, a Parliamentary Committee was set up to investigate the awarding of honours for cash. On the same day County Hall on the bank of the Thames was opened as the new HQ of the London County Council. 

17 July 1940 Joe Baker born.  He went through several junior Scottish clubs before playing for Hibernian and was their top scorer for four years getting 102 goals in just 117 league games.  The Hibs board apparently refused to up his weekly wage from £12 to £17 and so sold him to Torino for £75k.

17 July 1965: Dan Lewis died aged 62.  He was transferred from Arsenal to Gillingham in May 1931 having played 169 games for Arsenal in a career in which he was constantly in and out of the side.  He played only six times for Gillingham
and retired from professional football soon after.

17 July 1977: Fulham, the club Sir Henry Norris helped take into the Southern League, and then the Football League, were banned from the transfer market due to a reported £700,000 debt.

17 July 1991: Team Malarvik 1 Arsenal 4.  Campbell, Smith, Groves (plus og).  This was one of eight pre-season friendlies played between this day and 7 August.  Team Malarvik played in Stockholm.  I’m not sure they are still in existence.

17 July 2002: Stevenage Borough 1 Arsenal 6.  Interestingly, by 2015 Stevenage FC as they became known, had Teddy Sheringham as team manager and Dave
Beasant as goalkeeping coach.  In 2020 they were relegated to the National League.

17 July 2004: Barnet 1 Arsenal 10.   Reyes got three, Van Persie one, Bergkamp two.  Jeffers got a second half hat-trick.  Quincy Owusu-Abeyie got the other one on 70 minutes.  This match took place in the midst of the “49”.  Arsenal were undefeated in their eight pre-season games.  See also here for more details.

17 July 2008: Gilberto sold to Panathinaikos.  He played 76 games for them before moving on to Grêmio who he played for in 2011/12.  He was technical director of Panathinaikos in 2016 and acts now as a consultant.

17 July 2010: Barnet 0 Arsenal 4 (Arshavin, Simpson 2, Nasri).  At this time pre-season took on a regular format: the Barnet game, a training camp in Austria and then the Emirates cup as Mr Wenger kept the pre-season as low key as possible.

17 July 2013: Vietnam 1 Arsenal 7.  (Giroud (3), Oxlade Chamberlain, Akpom, Miquel.)  The second of seven pre-season games, following one in Indonesia, and followed by a match in Japan.

17 July 2014: Arsenal announced the signing of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle for around £12m.  His first season was very disrupted by two separate long term
injuries and he missed a chance to play in the Cup Final.   On 31 January 2018, six months before the expiry of his contract with Arsenal, Debuchy joined Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne on a free transfer.

17 July 2015: Yaya Sanogo loaned to Ajax.  After only three games he moved on in February 2016 to the youth team before moving to Charlton on loan where he started to get a decent number of games.  He joined Toulouse in 2017 and has been a regular in their team since then.

17 July 2017: Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in a pre-season friendly.

17 July 2019 Arsenal beat Bayern Munich in California in the 2019 International Champions Cup and 2–1 with Eddie Nketiah scoring the winning goal


4 Replies to “Whatever happened to Joe Baker?”

  1. I had no idea that the Great Joe Baker had died. I have been a Gunner since 1949 and have never seen better. He was as good if not better that Henry and Wrighty and that is saying something. He deserved a much better team around him but then as now the Arsenal board was tight fisted and had long term planning issues.

  2. Along with George Eastham was my childhood hero . Few could equal his energy and his finishing was as good as any . Unlucky to be transferred just before the 1966 World Cup and it probably cost him a place in the England squad . Would recommend “ The Baker Boys “ , a great read that featured Joe and his brother Gerry.

  3. i was there when joe made his debut against leyton orient in 1962 he scored the first goal in a 2-1 win

    it was billy wrights first game as manager. he scored on of the greatest goals I witnessed at highbury when with his back to goal he flipped the ball over his head, and hit it on the volley into the net, against man utd, I remember also in a cup match against Liverpool when he knocked out ron yeats after he was fouled, they were both sent off.

    1965 – 1966 season billy wright was under a lot of pressure , he dropped joe and introduced john Radford who initially was not accepted by the supporters. that was the year when 4000 turned up for a match against leeds, I was one of them
    also like ken my favourite as well as joe was George eastham

  4. I totally agree
    I watched him score a great hat trick against Wolves at Highbury which we won 5-4! One with his right foot, one with his left and one with his head. Amazing player who also we loved for felling Ron Yates with a perfect uppercut at Highbury!

Leave a Reply

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