Peter Baker joined the Tottenham Hotspur youth team in June 1949 as a seventeen year old, signing a professional contract with the club a year later. Baker is described on the club’s website as one of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Tottenham side that won the double in 1960/61, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. Baker was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame in 2004.
Baker played at right back, and cemented his place in the Spurs first team in the 1956/57 season. By 1960/61, Tottenham had one of the most formidable defences in the First Division, and along with Maurice Norman and Ron Henry, Baker was virtually ever present in Double Winning side. Baker would make 342 appearances for Spurs throughout his career, scoring three goals, before he left the club in 1965, having been effectively replaced with Cyril Knowles. Upon leaving White Hart Lane, Baker emigrated to South Africa, joining Durban United F.C. where he later enjoyed a stint as the club’s manager. Baker was a no-nonsense type, who, whilst not the classiest or most skilful player, was an excellent defender. The 1960s was characterised by skilful, flying wingers and yet Baker was rarely beaten by the opposition.
Baker was born in Hampstead, London on 10 December 1931. He was spotted for Tottenham whilst playing for Enfield Town in the Athenian League, and was a local boy, having been educated in North London at Southgate County School. Baker did not become a regular at Tottenham until Sir Alf Ramsey had departed the club, but thereafter became the clubs last right-back in the now extinct 2-3-5 formation that was replaced with the classic 4-4-2 football fans recognise today.
Baker never received a full England cap despite representing his county at youth level, and was unfortunate that his contemporaries competing for the right-back slot were equally gifted. Baker only missed one game throughout Tottenham’s Double Winning season, and although his name may be lost on most Tottenham fans today, he was respected by his fellow professionals and Spurs supporters throughout the 1950s and 1960s as one of the finest right-backs in the country.
Today, Baker lives in Enfield, North London. Now aged 78,Peter Baker will forever be remembered as a vital component in Tottenham’s greatest ever side.
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