Eddie Baily

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Eddie Baily
Personal information
Full name Edward Francis Baily[1]
Date of birth (1925-08-06)6 August 1925[1]
Place of birth Clapton, England[1]
Date of death 13 October 2010(2010-10-13) (aged 85)
Place of death Welwyn Garden City, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[2]
Playing position Inside forward
Youth career
1938–1946 Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1956 Tottenham Hotspur 296 (64)
1956 Port Vale 26 (8)
1956–1958 Nottingham Forest 68 (14)
1958–1960 Leyton Orient 29 (3)
Total 419 (89)
National team
1950–1953 England 9 (5)
England "B" 3 (0)
Football League XI 6 (2)
Teams managed
1963–1974 Tottenham Hotspur (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Edward "Eddie" Francis Baily (6 August 1925 – 13 October 2010) was an England international footballer. He was a member of the 1950 FIFA World Cup squad, and scored five goals in nine international games. He was described as one of the best inside forwards of his generation.

At club level, he played for Tottenham Hotspur from 1946 to 1956, helping the club to win the Second Division title in 1949–50, and then the First Division title in 1950–51; "Spurs" also finished as First Division runners-up in 1951–52. He scored 69 goals for the club in 325 games. In January 1956 he signed for Port Vale for a £7,000 fee, though was then sold on to Nottingham Forest for the same fee ten months later after he was criticized for being too much of 'an individualist'. He was a success at Forest, helping the club to win promotion to the top-flight in 1956–57. He moved on to Leyton Orient in 1958, before retiring in 1960. He was then assistant to "Spurs" manager Bill Nicholson from 1963 to 1974.

Playing style[edit]

He was described in The Guardian as "the quintessential cheeky Cockney, a dazzling technician, a razor-sharp passer of the ball, excitingly quick in thought and movement, one of the best inside-forwards of his era".[2]

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Baily first joined Tottenham Hotspur as a 14 year old in 1938, and found success at the club's youth set-up.[1] He played cricket for the Essex County Cricket Club Second XI and found work at a printing company and a stock brokerage firm.[1] During World War II he served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and saw service in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.[3] After the war he signed with Chelsea, but quickly left Stamford Bridge for Tottenham Hotspur after a chance encounter with Jimmy Anderson.[4]

He made his debut as an amateur, on 19 January 1947, against West Bromwich Albion. His footballing skills flourished under new manager Arthur Rowe who was developing his push and run side which at the time was challenging for promotion to the First Division.[5][6] He formed a good understanding with Les Medley on the left, and was a key player in the side that won the Second Division title in 1949–50.[4] "Spurs" continued to win games, and were crowned champions of England in 1950–51, finishing four points ahead of second place Manchester United. In 1951–52 the situation reversed, as "Spurs" finished runners-up, four points behind United. On 2 April 1952, in a match against Huddersfield Town at White Hart Lane, Baily caused controversy after he took a corner kick by hitting the ball against the referee, before crossing it into the box for Len Duquemin to score the winning goal.[1] After a tenth-place finish in 1952–53, Tottenham continued to slide down the table, and battled just above the relegation zone in 1954–55 and 1955–56. During his time at "Spurs", Baily made 325 appearances in the league and FA Cup, scoring 69 goals.[1]

In January 1956 he was transferred to Freddie Steele's Port Vale for a then-club record fee of £7,000.[7] He scored during a 'grand' debut in a 3–1 home win over Notts County on 14 January 1956.[7] He scored eight goals in 27 games for the club, adding 'master touches' to the "Valiants" play, but was sold on to Nottingham Forest in October 1956 for £7,000 because he was 'an individualist' who left the rest of the Vale attackers 'confused'.[7]

He helped Billy Walker's side to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1956–57, and showed the Vale what they had let go when he returned to Vale Park on 2 February to mastermind a 7–1 win.[8] Forest finished tenth in the top-flight in 1957–58, and Baily left the City Ground having scored 14 goals in 68 league games for the club.[9] He returned to the Second Division in 1958 after signing with Alec Stock's Leyton Orient. He played 29 league games for Orient in 1958–59 and 1959–60, scoring three goals.

International career[edit]

On 2 July 1950, Baily won his first cap for England against Spain in the World Cup finals in Brazil. He went on to play in nine international games between 1950 and 1953, scoring five goals.[10] He played against Spain, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland (twice), Wales (twice), Austria (twice), and Switzerland.[1] He also won three caps for the England "B" team and represented the Football League six times.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

In October 1963 he returned to Tottenham Hotspur to became the assistant manager under Bill Nicholson, and remained with him until Nicholson departed in August 1974, Baily also quit White Hart Lane the following month.[1] He was described as a "stern taskmaster".[1]

He scouted for Chelsea and was also a P.E. teacher at Bishop Stopford's School at Enfield before joining West Ham United as chief scout.[1] He was responsible for bringing, amongst others, future West Ham and England player, Alan Devonshire to Upton Park.[6] Following sixteen years of service, he had a testimonial match in 1993 between "Spurs" and Enfield on the day that Alan Sugar sacked Terry Venables as manager of "Spurs", and a large crowd turned up in order to protest against the sacking.[1]

Later life and death[edit]

Eddie Baily died on 13 October 2010 at Welwyn Garden City after a short illness.[11] He was survived by wife, Elsie (married December 1952); son, Graham; and daughter, Jane.[2]


with Tottenham Hotspur
with Nottingham Forest


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Fact File". archive.mehstg.com. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Glanville, Brian (13 October 2010). "Eddie Baily obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Eddie Baily Obituary". The Telegraph. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Stan, East. "the power behind the throne". mehstg.com. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Eddie Baily on MEHSTG site". 
  6. ^ a b "Eddie Baily, integral member of Tottenham's League winning side of 1951, passes away aged 85". Daily Mail. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 14. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  8. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). "Fame and Fortune (1950–1959)". The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. pp. 171–196. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  9. ^ "Eddie Baily on Neil Brown site". 
  10. ^ "Eddie Baily on England fanzine site". 
  11. ^ Eddie Baily THFC Official Website, Accessed 13 October 2010[dead link]