Peter Baker one of the unsung heroes of the Double side who went about his job in a quiet unassuming manner. Playing at right back he formed a good combination with Maurice Norman at center half and Ron Henry on the left to defend Bill Brown in goal. His talent was often overlooked and he tended toward the methodical rather than the mercurial. One of the players that every team needs. He simply did his job.
Peter was born in Hampstead in North London in 1931 and was capped at Youth level. He played for Enfield before signing for Spurs as an amateur in 1949 and turning professional in 1952.
His debut came towards the end of that season at Sunderland in a 1-1 draw when he stepped in for Alf Ramsey.
When Ramsey left Charlie Withers took over the role and later Maurice Norman when he signed for Spurs started at right aback. Peter stepped in when Norman was injured and did so well that upon recovery Norman had to switch to the number 5 shirt.
Once established in the team he hardly missed a game in seven years.
In the Double year he missed just one game.
He was a regular as he also won another FA cup and European Cup Winners Cup medals.
Peter was seen as consistent performer, an accurate passer and good tackler with an excellent positional sense.
He had Danny Blanchflower playing in front of him who would go buccaneering up the field and Baker would find himself exposed at times. He had to learn not to take on a player when he was out numbered but he did develop the ability to shepherd a player away from danger and hold them up whilst his teammates had time to provide cover.
He has been described as Cool and Dependable. In 1959 at Birmingham he even took over in goal when the keeper was injured. Not known for getting forward he did on occasion and could provide telling crosses into the box.
After being at Tottenham for 13 years he found his playing opportunities limited and whilst Bill Nicholson did not want to lose him he allowed him to move to Durban United in South Africa.
He later coached out there and then went into business. When he retired he returned home to North London.
right - Here in the White Hart Lane Gym in January 1960 before the cup tie with Newport County.
Pictures Above and Below - At Villa Park 1961.
In 1976 in an interview he said “To play for a club such as Tottenham Hotspur for 13 years as I did must make anyone proud."
He described one of his favourite moments as when Tottenham beat Glasgow Rangers in the European Cup Winners Cup. Tottenham winning both legs of the tie. "To beat them at home was acceptable, but to beat them on their own park was almost sacrilege."
Peter Baker made 342 senior appearances for us in 12 years. He managed three goals, one of them coming in the Double year.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume reserved for THFC matters)
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