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(Article from match programme v. St Mirren 26/12/87 - author not credited)

Where Are They Now?

GERRY BAKER

A few weeks ago we featured Joe Baker in this series, and today we are pleased to be able to include elder brother Gerry, who took over from his brother as Hibs' centre in 1961-62.

Gerry is an American citizen, having been born in New Rochelle in New York State, where his English father and Scottish mother had settled, but as a baby was brought to his father's native Liverpool, so that his father could assist the war effort, which unhappily he did not survive.

The family was later evacuated to Scotland, and Gerry was brought up in Motherwell, playing football first for his school sides of Park Primary and St. Joseph's Secondary, as well as Craigneuk Boys Club. He was selected for Lanarkshire Schools, and took part in national trials, and puts his non-selection down to the fact that he had only one pair of boots throughout his secondary education, and so for most of the time they did not fit!

From boys club football, Gerry went to Larkhall Thistle, although he was only fourteen, and after only six games went to Chelsea, at fifteen. A year later he made his Football League debut, but did not settle at Stamford Bridge, and returned north to his home town team of Motherwell. Bobby Ancell was manager there, and was building his team with Quinn, St. John etc., and played Gerry at outside left, which was not the position he wanted, and so he was delighted to move to St. Mirren in early 1959, just in time to take part in the Paisley team's historic Scottish Cup triumph against Aberdeen, in which Gerry scored one of the Buddies' three goals.

He also recalls scoring ten goals in a Scottish Cup game against Glasgow University, especially as the last of them was a rebound which struck him in such a pa inful spot before going into the net that it took him three days to recover.

In 1961 Gerry crossed the border again, for a spell with Manchester City, who included Denis Law at that time, but again did not settle in the south. and one year further on, was brought north by Harry Swan to help Hibs, in danger of losing their place in an eighteen team first division. That was the dreadful winter of 1963, when Hibs stayed up by the skin of their teeth, but Gerry's contribution was invaluable scoring over forty go als in his two seasons here, and recalling also his introduction to European football with Hibs in the Fairs Cup.

After two successful seasons with Hibs, Jackie Milburn signed Gerry for Ipswich, and so it was south for a third time - third time lucky, as Gerry has been happy in England ever since. Ray Crawford and Gary Bailey's dad were at I pswich at that time, and Gerry stayed at Portland Road until 1967, when he went to Coventry City. In 1970 he retired from the game, although he had subsequent coaching and managerial involvement with Margate, Nuneaton Borough and Bedworth United.

Since then, Gerry has worked for Jaguar Cars, and has valued his leisure more so that he nowadays has no involvement with football - his game now is golf. In his day, Gerry was reknowned for his speed, but he hardly has a monopoly of that at home - his wife Ann was a champion sprinter, and both daughters, Karen, and Lorraine, who always causes David Coleman so much trouble to recall what exactly her father and uncle did, are both international athletes. No slouches in this family!

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