On this day in 1966, Joe Baker player his final game for Arsenal – a friendly.
The striker signed for Billy Wright’s Arsenal from Italian team Torino in 1962 for a club record of £70,000 – a lot of money in the 1960s.
Baker made his debut against Leyton Orient on 18 August 1962, the first game of the season, which the Gunners won 2-1 with Baker scoring one of the goals and Geoff Strong scoring the second.
For three out of the four seasons Baker was at Arsenal, he was the top goalscorer, netting 100 in total 156 appearances. In fact, he was one of Arsenal’s most prolific goalscorers of all time!
Alongside Geoff Strong, Baker was on fire and Arsenal had no trouble scoring. However, still never managed to finish above 7th in the First Division.
Baker also played eight games for the England national team, scoring three. Despite technically being Scottish, the striker chose to play for England since he was born in Liverpool and therefore eligible.
Baker’s 1965/66 season in north London was disappointing and after playing his final match for the Gunners, he was sold to Nottingham Forest for a reported £65,000.
He found his form again at Forest, scoring 41 goals in 118 appearances, before signing for Sunderland in 1969, followed by Hibernian (1971) an Raith Rovers (1972).
Joe Baker passed away in October 2003.