Baker playing for Stockport County in 2008
|Full name||Carl Paul Baker|
|Date of birth||26 December 1982|
|Place of birth||Prescot, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Playing position||Winger, Attacking midfielder|
|Milton Keynes Dons|
|2014–||Milton Keynes Dons||41||(11)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 01:11, 27 September 2015 (UTC).
Carl Paul Baker (born 26 December 1982) is an English footballer who plays as a winger or as an attacking midfielder for Milton Keynes Dons. He has made over 450 professional career appearances in the Football League and Conference as well as domestic cup competitions, including 160 appearances for Coventry City.
Born on 26 December 1982 in Prescot, Merseyside, Baker came up through the Liverpool Academy before moving to Prescot Cables. Shortly after, he moved to Southport in 2003, with whom he helped win the Conference North title. An impressive four-year spell saw him earn a move into the Football League with Morecambe, where he found the net 11 times in 48 appearances. Two years at Stockport County followed prior to completing a switch to then-Championship club Coventry City in the summer of 2010. He went on to play 182 times for Steven Pressley's men and was captain for the final two years of his four-year stay. In September 2014, he signed for Milton Keynes Dons, after being released by Coventry.
Baker's career was forged at Southport. Spotted playing for Prescot by Southport manager Liam Watson, Baker was quickly snapped up by the Merseyside club, and soon established himself as one of non-league's exciting talents. He was an important member of the Southport Conference North Championship winning team in the 2004–05 season. In 2005 he was a member of the Middlesex Wanderers F.C. that visited Japan. 
After again playing an important role in helping keep Southport in the Conference National in the 2005–06 season, Baker signed his first full-time contract, for the next season as the club turned fully professional, whilst much of the championship winning, and relegation surviving team, (fan favourites Steve Dickinson, Steve Daly, Earl Davis) all not willing to leave their non-footballing jobs, left unable to make the transition to full-time.
Despite Southport's relegation from the Conference National in the 2006–07 season, Baker swept the board with Player of the Year awards, voted on by his fellow players, the fans and local press. He was a fan favourite with the club's fans, being one of only two players left from the 2005 title winning squad. Although only on a year's contract meaning he could move on for free, the club's official website announced he had signed for another year at the club. This meant that any interested team would have to pay for his services.
On 11 July 2007, he signed for Football League Two newcomers Morecambe for a club record, though undisclosed fee. He signed a three-year contract with Morecambe.  In August 2007 Baker scored Morecambe's first goal when they beat Football League Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 in extra time in a League Cup match.
In November, Baker was named North West Non-league player of the year, at the North West Football Awards, for his efforts playing for Southport in 2006–07, beating his new Morecambe team-mate Adam Yates to the prize.
His 2008–09 season was a in-different one for Baker, he played 27 times for County in his first season, scoring 3 goals, all these were before January, when Baker received a knee injury which required surgery.
The 2009–10 season started well for Baker on the pitch and he was seen to be one of Stockport's main assets. By mid-October he was County's leading scorer with 10 goals. Baker became the first County player to score successive away hat-tricks, with stunning performances against Brighton & Hove Albion & Crewe. Baker scored his 10th goal-of-the-season for Stockport from the penalty spot in the game away to Tranmere Rovers, which was live on Sky – dedicating the goal to his brother Mike whose name he bears on his shirt collar.
Baker added to his goals tally by scoring a penalty in the game against Tooting & Mitcham.
On 26 December 2009, Gary Ablett told reporters that Baker has signed a deal with Championship side Coventry City. Baker's last game for Stockport County was against League 1 leaders Leeds United in which he scored a freekick. The goal was his 13th goal of the season.
Coventry confirmed Baker as the club's fourth permanent signing in the January 2010 transfer window on 8 January 2010. Baker joined Coventry for an undisclosed fee, which was confirmed by him in person as being £300,000. In February 2010, Manager Chris Coleman praised Baker for his impressive performances since joining the club, likening his playing style to that of Sky Blue legend Tommy Hutchinson. On 10 August 2010, Baker returned to former club Morecambe, in a League Cup First Round tie. Coventry fell to a 2–0 defeat. The Sky Blues made up for their 2010 cup loss to Morecambe by beating them 2–1 in The 2012–13 FA Cup 2nd Round. Baker scored the winning goal curling the ball round Morecambe keeper Barry Roche just 18 seconds into the second half. During his time at the club he became a fan favourite due to his consistently skillful and dedicated performances, and was club captain for more than two years from 2012 to 2014.
Baker had his Coventry City contract cancelled by mutual consent on 1 September 2014.
Milton Keynes Dons
On 26 September 2014, following his release from Coventry City, fellow League One side Milton Keynes Dons announced Baker had signed for the club, and made his debut on 4 October 2015 in a 0-2 away win against Yeovil Town. Baker scored his first goal for his new club on 8 November 2015 in the FA Cup first round 3-4 away win against Port Vale. Baker also scored his first league goal for the club, again against Port Vale a week later in a 1-0 home win.
On 22 April 2015 Baker scored twice in the 3-0 home win against Doncaster Rovers.
On 28 April 2015 at the club's end of season awards ceremony, Baker was named Player of the Year 2014/15, voted for by supporters of the club.
Stats according to Soccerbase
- As of 27 September 2015
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Stockport County||2008–09||League One||22||3||2||0||1||0||2||0||27||3|
|Milton Keynes Dons||2014-15||League One||32||9||2||1||0||0||1||0||35||10|
- A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including substitutes) in the Football League Trophy.
In November 2005 Baker was called up to the England C squad, but was recalled by Southport due to an FA Cup replay against Woking. However he was called up again for a match against Italy on 15 February 2006, which England won 3–1. He played for England C in their 1–0 win over Finland on 1 June 2007. 
- Football League One Runner-Up 2014-15
- Milton Keynes Dons - Player of the Year 2014/15
- League One Player of the Month - November 2014
- Conference North 2004-05
On 21 August 2006, Baker pleaded guilty at North Sefton Magistrates Court to failing to provide a specimen for analysis, after he had been stopped on 13 August by police in Southport, who suspected Baker had been drink driving. Magistrates disqualified him from driving. Baker made a public apology.
In October 2006 he was suspended for a week and fined by Southport for what was described as a "serious breach of club discipline".
On 16 September 2009 it was confirmed that Baker's older brother (Michael) had died of leukemia; despite that Carl went on to play just two days later and score 2 goals in Stockport's 2–2 draw with Yeovil Town; his other brother has also been diagnosed with leukemia. At the end of the Yeovil game Carl was presented with a card signed by the travelling Stockport fans.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- Pearce, James (11 July 2007). "Southport star Carl Baker set for Morecambe move". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Middlesex Wanderers Association Football Club Tour to Japan 2005". Middlesex Wanderers. 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Baker signs Port deal". Southport Visiter. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- "Latest news: Double signing". Morecambe F.C. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Morecambe land midfielder Baker". BBC Sport. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Sammy delight at record signing". Morecambe Visitor. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Sensational Shrimps tame the Wolves". Morecambe Visitor. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- "Classy Carl claims top gong". This Is Lancashire. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- "Carl Baker completes Coventry City switch". Coventry City F.C. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
- "TRANSFER: Baker signs for Sky Blues". BBC Sport. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- "Jon Stead Strike sparks play-off ambitions". Coventry Telegraph. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- "Carl Baker leaves Coventry City after terminating contract by mutual consent". Coventry City F.C. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "MK Dons: Carl Baker joins League One side". BBC Sport. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "MK Dons: Baker bags Player of the Year". MK Dons. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Carl Baker career statistics at Soccerbase
- "Baker pulls out of England squad". BBC Sport. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- Oliver, Pete (12 February 2006). "England boss has high hopes". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
- Stone, Alex (16 February 2006). "England give Italy the blues". The Football Association. Retrieved 30 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Cole sinks Finns". The Football Association. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Carl Baker named Sky Bet League One Player of the Month". the Football League. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Southport suspend Baker for week". BBC Sport. 18 October 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2007.