Graham BAKER

Manchester City FC

Graham Baker - Manchester City FC - League appearances for Man City.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 23 March 1986

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Midfielder
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Wednesday, 03 December 1958
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Southampton, England
  • CLUBS
  • Manchester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1982-1987
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 28th August 1982 in a 2-1 win at Norwich City (Aged: 23)
    • Club Career
      114 League apps (+3 as sub), 19 goals
  • Southampton FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1976-1982, 1987-1990
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 12th November 1977 scoring in a 2-0 win at home to Blackpool (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      (During two spells)
      168 League apps (+5 as sub), 31 goals
They NEED your help ! George used his vision. Help them gain their's. A career in Geology. £150 per month for 30,000 plus pages. Prostate cancer.

Graham BAKER - Manchester City FC - League appearances for Man City.

Graham Baker is pictured during Manchester City's Full Members' Cup final against Chelsea.

 

Southampton:   1976-1977     Played   0     Scored   0   goals   (Division 2)
     1977-1978     Played   3     Scored   1   goal   (Division 2)
     1978-1979     Played   22     Scored   5   goals   (Division 1)
     1979-1980     Played   23     Scored   4   goals   (Division 1)
     1980-1981     Played   39     Scored   8   goals   (Division 1)
     1981-1982     Played   26     Scored   4   goals   (Division 1)
 
Transferred in August 1982 for £350 000
 
Manchester City:   1982-1983     Played   27     Scored   4   goals   (Division 1)
     1983-1984     Played   36     Scored   8   goals   (Division 2)
     1984-1985     Played   29     Scored   4   goals   (Division 2)
     1985-1986     Played   10     Scored   0   goals   (Division 1)
     1986-1987     Played   16     Scored   3   goals   (Division 1)
 
Free transfer to Southampton in June 1987
 

1987–1990    Southampton    60    (11)

1990             Aldershot (loan)    7    (2)
1990–1992    Fulham    10    (1)

 

 

Graham Baker is pictured playing for Manchester City Football Club on 26th. August 1986.

Photo George Herringshaw.  ©

 

 

Born in Southampton on December 3rd 1958, Graham Baker was a tough-tackling, industrious midfield player who was signed from his hometown club for £350, 000 by Manchester City manager John Bond in the 1982 close season, having already won two England under-21 caps. He made his debut on the opening day of the 1982/83 season in a 2-1 away win at Norwich, and two weeks later opened his goalscoring account when he got both goals in a 2-1 victory at Spurs. Five wins in the first eight games saw City up among the early-season pace setters, with Baker notching another goal in a 3-2 win over Coventry, but by the time he returned from a two month injury absence at the end of February they were struggling badly in the league and had been knocked out of both cups, a 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Brighton in January prompting the resignation of manager Bond. Only three more league wins meant City went into the last game of the season needing a point to stay up, but were beaten 1-0 by Luton Town at Maine Road and were relegated, Graham having made 27 league appearances and scored 4 goals.

For the 1983/84 season a new manager, Billy McNeill, was brought in from Celtic. By the middle of October City sat second in the division two table after a run of five straight wins, with Baker netting in the defeats of Blackburn Rovers (6-0) and Leeds (2-1), but despite him notching another two in a 4-0 win over Brighton in November some inconsistent form saw City in and out of the promotion places by the turn of the year. A 2-1 third round FA Cup at the hands of Blackpool was then followed by a dreadful run-in to the end of the season, an eventual fourth place finish ten points adrift of the promotion places, but on a personal level Baker's 8 goals in 36 league games was a decent return.

 

The following campaign would prove to be a bitter-sweet one for Graham. The first half of the season had been a struggle, just above half-way in the table by early January and defeats in the third round of both the League Cup and the FA Cup to Chelsea and Coventry. However, five wins out of six games, culminating in a 1-0 win at Blackburn on March 2nd, sent City to the top of the table, but unfortunately Baker was carried from the pitch with a dislocated shoulder. He returned to the side a month later in a 0-0 Easter draw at Barnsley, but just two days later he tragically broke his leg in a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds, which put paid to his season. In the end The Blues went on to secure promotion with a 5-1 win over Charlton on the final day of the season, Graham's contribution of 4 goals in his 29 appearances being an important part of the team's achievement.

 

Over the next two years Baker's comeback was disrupted by a series of niggling injuries, which resulted in him making only 13 league and cup appearances in the 1985/86 season, including one as a substitute in a 5-4 defeat to Chelsea in the Full Members Cup final at Wembley. The following season got off to a promising start when Graham scored two goals on the opening day in a 3-1 home win over Wimbledon (the photo above is during the game), but injuries once again ensured he made only sporadic first team outings, and at the end of a season in which City were once again relegated he returned on a free transfer to his former club Southampton. During his five seasons at Maine Road Baker had made a total of 138 league and cup appearances (6 as substitute), scoring 21 goals, and but for terrible luck with injury would surely have made a bigger impact in his time with the Blues.

 

After a further three seasons with Southampton he had spells with Aldershot and Fulham and then went on to take up coaching and managerial roles in non-league football. He later worked as Youth Development Officer at Woking under his former Southampton teammate Glenn Cockerill before eventually leaving football to become a driving instructor. (David Redshaw)