Hibs in 50 objects: No.38 – Joe Baker’s England cap

One of eight England caps won by Joe Baker
One of eight England caps won by Joe Baker
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DESPITE being born in Liverpool and representing the England national team, Joe Baker always considered himself Scottish.

He was born to Scottish parents, spent most of his childhood in Motherwell and turned out for the Scottish schools select.

But due to international rules at the time, Baker was denied the opportunity to represent the country he called home, instead, in 1959, becoming the first player to be capped for England while playing outside the English league system.

He would only earn eight caps for England, with five of those coming during his time at Easter Road. Aged 19, Baker netted on his debut, in a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley, going on to play in all of England’s tour matches that year against the likes of Yugoslavia, Spain and Hungary.

However, he was goalless in the rest of the tour, even when he lined up against many of his team-mates at Hampden in a game against Scotland.

His barren spell in front of goal eventually saw him dropped from the squad, however he would be recalled five years later as an Arsenal player.

Baker would score his third and final England goal in a warm-up win over Spain ahead of the 1966 World Cup, but the introduction of Geoff Hurst to Alf Ramsey’s starting XI the following month against Poland spelled a premature end for his international career.