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Eddie Baily - Obituary

Thu, November 04, 2010 - 8:44, Diary, Administrator,

Eddie Baily

Eddie Baily was associated with the club for 29 years, 18 as a player plus 11 as assistant manager. He played at inside left as a key member of our Push ‘n’ Run team, gained nine Full England caps, three for the ‘B’ team, represented the Football League XI on six occasions and was also selected for the FA XI.

He made his first team debut during the 1945-46 transitional season and went on to score 64 goals in 296 Football League appearances plus five in 29 FA Cup matches. His assistant manager role saw him take charge of the team in Bill Nicholson’s absence as well as guide our reserve team to several trophies.

Born at Clapton on August 6, 1925, Edward Francis Baily attended Mount Pleasant School. He was spotted by Tottenham Juniors whilst playing for Hackney Schoolboys against Edmonton in the 1938 Corinthian Shield match and invited by schoolboy scout Jim ‘Dodger’ Joyce to train with the club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. He also represented Middlesex Schools and played cricket for London Boys, later featuring in a few games for Essex CCC second XI.

On leaving school Eddie worked for Hunt Partners, a local printing company, and for Gustav Ellison, a London stockbroking firm. He signed amateur forms for us on February 1, 1940 and was loaned to Finchley to develop. He featured for Tottenham Juniors in their 1942-43 Tottenham Charity Cup final victory over Crossbrook Sports at White Hart Lane.

National Service saw him join the 79th Battalion of Royal Scots, serving in Belgium, the Netherlands and at Oldenburg, Germany. Having played for his Army unit he was recommended for the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) team, playing alongside established professionals as a 21 year old. Having signed amateur forms for Chelsea – which were immediately cancelled - Eddie returned to sign professional forms for us on February 12, 1946 and made his senior debut eight days later in a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa.

His first Football League appearance came in a 2-0 home victory versus West Bromwich Albion on January 4, 1947 but it was not until October that year that he joined our full time ranks, on completing his National Service.

His second League outing saw him register his first goal, netting our third in a 4-0 win over Brentford on November 1. He had an acrobatic overhead kick saved and also struck a post before successfully converting a neat pass from Len Duquemin.

A regular from then on, he missed just two matches in each of our title winning campaigns, lifting the Second Division Championship of 1949-50 and the Football League Championship 12 months later.

By this time Eddie had been recognised at international level. He scored for England ‘B’ against their Swiss counterparts at Hillsborough on January 18, 1950 and featured in the tour matches against Italy and the Netherlands during May. Selected for the World Cup squad, Eddie became one of eight England players to date to receive their first cap at the World Cup Finals, featuring in the final group game against Spain at Rio de Janeiro on July 2, a 0-1 defeat.

That proved to be the only loss on England duty with his eight other Full caps resulting in four wins and four drawn matches. Eddie scored two goals each on his second and third appearances, against Northern Ireland and Wales during October/November, 1950 and found the net again versus Wales the following season. His final cap was gained against Northern Ireland on October 4, 1952, although he did feature in the annual England versus Young England fixture on May 6, 1955. Interspersed with these were his six games for the Football League representative XI, between February, 1950 and October, 1954, facing the Irish League three times, the League of Ireland twice and the Scottish League. He scored on each of his first two appearances, versus the League of Ireland and Scottish League during February/March, 1950.

Other representative honours included playing for the FA XI versus the RAF during 1948-89; for the Rest of UK v Wales during 1951-52; and for London XI v Saxony XI during 1954-55.

Eddie was involved in a controversial goal against Huddersfield Town on April 2, 1952. His last minute corner kick struck the referee and rebounded for him to deliver a cross from which Len Duquemin headed the only goal. The visitors protested but the goal was allowed to stand, contrary to Law 17 regarding playing the ball again until another player has touched it.

He joined Port Vale for an £8,000 fee on January 14, 1956 and scored eight goals in 26 League appearances for them before moving on to Nottingham Forest during October, 1956. He had notched 14 goals in 68 League outings and helped them back to the top flight by the time he returned to London to join Leyton Orient, the club he had supported as a schoolboy.

He scored three goals in 30 senior games for the O’s between December, 1958 and October, 1959, making the last of his 419 Football League appearances against Sunderland on October 3. His goals tally in those games was 89.

Having gained his Full Coaching badge, Eddie became coach to Orient during 1960 and helped them to reach the First Division for the only time in their history two years later.

He was appointed assistant manager to Bill Nicholson on October 2, 1963 and played a full part in the cup successes over the next 11 years. With Bill often involved with the England Under-23 team, Eddie was member in charge on several of the end of season overseas tours. He was also on reserve team duty when they won Football Combination titles and the London Challenge Cup.

On leaving Tottenham during September, 1974, Eddie combined working as a sports master at an Enfield school with scouting for Chelsea. He also coached at Corinthian Casuals and Chesham United until offered the job as chief scout at West Ham United during 1976. He remained there for 16 years and also helped out as an England scout during Ron Greenwood’s tenure as national team boss.

Eddie was a familiar figure at our reserve team games during the late 1990’s, as southern area scout for Ipswich Town. He was the recipient of two testimonial matches; our first team faced Enfield at their old Southbury Road ground on May 14, 1993; and on May 19, 1995 Chesham United staged a match against an Ex-Spurs XI which his former England colleague Sir Stanley Matthews attended. Eddie’s family also organised a reunion lunch for the 1949-50-51 side during August, 1996.

In recent years Eddie lived at Brookmans Park. He passed away at a Welwyn Garden City hospital on October 13 following a short illness. Eddie is survived by Elsie, his wife of 63 years, daughter Jane, son Graham, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.


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