Hibs in 50 objects: No.11 – Joe Baker scores nine in cup tie

The programme is a memento of the game
The programme is a memento of the game
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Hibs’ 15-1 Scottish Cup victory over Peebles Rovers in February 1961 remains the club’s largest margin of victory in a competitive match, yet on a day when records tumbled across the board, one in particular just managed to remain intact.

Over the course of two spells in Leith, Joe Baker established himself as arguably the Club’s greatest ever goalscorer, netting a phenomenal 158 goals in 194 games, including nine in the thrashing of Peebles.

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Just a year earlier however, Baker’s own brother, Gerry, had set the Scottish Cup goalscoring benchmark with ten strikes in the same game as St Mirren claimed a 15-0 win over Glasgow University.

The Peebles game itself was a mismatch from the first whistle as Hibs raced into an 8-1 lead before the break, with Baker hitting five of them.

He would go on to net another four in the second period, including one from the spot, while doubles from Willie Ormond and John Baxter and one each for Sammy Baird and Johnny MacLeod sealed the rout.

Speaking to The Scotsman in 2010, former Hibs defender John Fraser recalled Baker being unstoppable on the day.

Joe Baker is arguably Hibs' greatest goalscorer

Joe Baker is arguably Hibs' greatest goalscorer

He said: “Joe was on fire at that time and he really ran riot that day. Every time we went up the park, we seemed to score.

“I don’t know if Joe was looking to break Gerry’s record but perhaps that was at the back of his mind after he’d scored a couple.

“Everyone was trying to get his name on the scoresheet, myself included. As a former winger I was probably one of the first overlapping full-backs, I felt comfortable getting forward but, unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a goal.”

Ironically, the Peebles ‘consolation’ came from a former Hibs trainee, striker Wattie McWilliams, but as the Evening News report of the match states, Baker was by far the standout performer.

“A look at the score is sufficient to sum up the game at Easter Road, where non-league Peebles Rovers, a goal down in four minutes and behind 8-1 at half-time, were never in the hunt at all,” it read.

“The man of the match, naturally, was Joe Baker with nine goals, including one from the penalty spot in 60 minutes. And how he struggled for a tenth in the closing minutes.

“He would have done it, too, if he had not been a bit over-anxious, but there it was. Baker and John McLeod were the Hibs dangerman in a front line where only Tommy Preston failed to find the net.

“Peebles goalkeeper Bill Lucas by no means disgraced himself in letting in the proverbial “barrowload”. Time and again he was the only man left to stop Baker or one of his colleagues.”

• For information on Easter Road Stadium Tours, contact bmcgoldrick@hibernianfc.co.uk