Joe Baker

England international centre forward Joe Baker joined Arsenal from Italian side Torino in 1962 for a Club-record fee of £70,000. Baker spent an explosive four seasons at the Club, finishing top of Arsenal’s goalscoring chart in every one.  His 100 goals in 156 appearances make him one of the Club’s most prolific strikers but Joe never finished higher than seventh in the First Division during his Highbury career. Despite being born to Scottish parents and spending much of his childhood north of the border, Joe was eligible for England because he was born in Liverpool. And, when he was capped while playing for Hibernian in the 1950s, Baker became the first player to play for England without ever playing for an English club. His international career continued during his Arsenal spell but, despite his impressive goal return, he was not called up for Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup squad. Billy Wright sold Baker to Nottingham Forest in 1966 where he remained for three years before a two-year stretch at Sunderland. He returned north of the border in 1971 for another year at Hibs before ending his playing days at Raith Rovers who he later managed.


"I remember when he came back from Italy and he joined Arsenal. Joe was a typical centre forward and a great striker and one thing that did stand out was that he was fearless. Joe earned himself a place in the England side and did himself proud. He was my favourite player at that time."John Kirby, Cambridgeshire

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