Remembering Former R’s Player David Baker: “Two Matches – Rita & Rangers – the Same Afternoon. What a Day!”

The following article appeared in the Press in August 1959:

‘David Baker, twenty-year-old Queen’s Park Rangers centre-half, has put forward his wedding an hour so that he can take part in the Club’s public practice match on Saturday. 

Baker, an Army private stationed at Devizes, marries nineteen-year-old Rita Dezzani at Shepherd’s Bush at 1.30 – then rushes straight off to Rangers’ ground for a 3.15 kick-off.

Rita said: “I don’t mind David playing, but I won’t go to watch, I’ll wait for him at the reception.”

Says Baker: “Two matches – Rita and Rangers – the same afternoon. What a day!”

Rita had been living at 44, Godolphin Road and after the wedding they moved into David’s family home at 55, Braybrook Street in East Acton.

Ray Marno was at that game on 15th August, and he gave me the two line-ups:

Reds: Pinner, Skingley, Colgan, Keen, Whitfield, Brown, Tomkys, Hutchins, Bedford, Locke, Clark.

Whites: Drinkwater, Woods, Ingham, Petchey, Rutter, Angell, Cini, Longbottom, Whitelaw, Pearson, Andrews.

The Whites won 5-0, with goals from George Whitelaw (3), Jimmy Andrews plus Ken Whitfield’s own-goal.

Ray also kindly passed on a spare copy of the programme, which noted that – ‘The following players will also appear during the match: Spence, Baker, J. Brown, Newcombe & J. Collins’

David was born in 1939 and grew up at 55, Braybrook Street, East Acton.

The 1957 handbook states that he made seven appearances for the reserves during the previous season and that he had: ‘Now signed pro having been on the ground staff.’

David then played eleven times for the Combination side during the 1957/58 season. 

The following season he made sixteen appearances for the reserves and scored two goals. 

He continued to play for the Rangers Combination side, but never got to make it into the first team.

David signed for Bexleyheath & Welling in the summer of 1962.

Steve Russell

(My thanks to Colin Woodley, Peter Trott & Ray Marno for their assistance)

One thought on “Remembering Former R’s Player David Baker: “Two Matches – Rita & Rangers – the Same Afternoon. What a Day!”

  1. I faintly recall seeing him playing for the reserves in the 1957/1958 season when I watched a lot of football combination matches at Loftus Rd.

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