OTD 50 years ago today Allan Baker played his last game…
The physio looks like he’s escaped from some institution.
Probably the Michael Myers institute
My Dad was at that game, at a time when we regularly got 10,000 or more, he said he remembered he went up for a header or something, fell awkwardly, and he said the crowd heard the ‘sickening’ crack as his knee blew out. My Dad worked at the Post Office in Walsall and I think Allan worked there for a while so he knew him. He often said he was one of the best players ever to play for Walsall in his lifetime - so sad. I wonder what would have happened to his injury these days with all the treatments that are now avaialble. It may have been a year out for him, but he may have made it into his mid-30’s. Damn shame.
Alan Baker was a proper footballer, so sad that injury ended his career way too soon.
One of our best midfielders ever!
Yes, I was at that game. Everybody went quiet as I recall - we all knew how serious it was. Baker was one of the best midfielders to play for us, alongside Jimmy McMorran. Unfortunately, he was not the last of our good players to end their career for the wrong reasons. Don Penn, Ian Paul and so on…
I felt sorry for Ian Paul, enormous potential, would have possibly made it to the PL - we will never know of course. Perhaps it’s better not knowing!
With Don Penn, the story is that Liverpool were looking in the lower leagues for a striker and looked closely at Penn but they plumped for a young Chester striker, Ian Rush. I wonder what happened to him?
And of course Ian Handysides
And Stuart Ryder and David Edwards. There was also a striker who had just broken into the team and was scoring goals but I cannot remember his name. Isn’t it odd how many of these career-ending injuries happened to some of our very best young players (although Handysides had a serious illness of course).
Yes, that is the one I was thinking of. Thank you.