776 Matthew Baker

Biography

Goalkeeper Matthew Christopher Baker was born in Harrogate and played in the Leeds United youth steup as a teenager. in 1996 he switched to Hull City’s youth training scheme and his progress earned him a professional contract at the beginning of the 1998/99 season. A serious knee ligament injury sidelined Baker for a year but in the 1999/00 season he returned to full fitness and sat regularly on City’s bench in support of first team keepers Lee Bracey and Steve Wilson. A combination of Bracey’s combustible nature and Wilson’s fully committed style offered Baker plenty of chances to be first team reserve and he made his senior debut in August 1999 when Bracey was sent off – Baker’s first act in the first team was to concede the resulting penalty scored by Macclesfield’s ex-Tiger Gregor Rioch. He came off the bench again two weeks later at Torquay when Wilson sustained an injury, then ten days later he made his third and highest profile first team appearance when Bracey’s carefree attitude to the handball rules saw him red carded in a League Cup tie at Liverpool and Baker played an hour as City briefly held the Premier League giants at 2-2. In December 1999 manager Warren Joyce handed Baker his first start in an Associate Members’ Cup tie against York City, which turned out to be his final Tigers appearance – he saw out the season on loan at non-league Bradford Park Avenue.

Matthew left Hull City in the 2000 close season and signed for Conference National side Hereford United, he served the Bulls for four years, made over 120 starts and contributed to the club’s unsuccessful play-off campaign in 2004. He also made four appearances for the England national game XI. Now established as a safe pair of lower league hands, Baker joined League One side Wrexham in the summer of 2004, after deputising for Andy Dibble in the first few weeks of the season he became first choice keeper between mid September and early December 2004, making 19 senior appearances in all competitions. With Dibble restored to the Wrexham first team and Wrexham seeking to cash in saleable assets as administration loomed, an offer for Baker from Milton Keynes Dons was accepted and he made his Dons debut on Boxing Day 2004. For a season and a half he was first choice goalkeeper for the Dons, starting an ice-bound match against Hull City in February 2005 when he cut a frozen figure and sent a string of goal kicks into the many empty stands of the National Hockey Stadium. he left the Dons in the summer of 2006 having made 62 senior appearances.

In December 2006 Matthew briefly joined Conference side Weymouth but his arrival coincided with the financial collapse of the Terras and he was loaned to Rushden & Diamonds in March 2007. He retired from playing later in 2007 due to the lasting effects of the knee injury he suffered at Hull nine years earlier. He worked in the programme writing team at Milton Keynes Dons while completing a journalism degree at Staffordshire University, then in 2008 he returned to Leeds to work as a sports journalist. He briefly flirted with local politics in 2010 when he unsuccessfully stood to be a Councillor in Leeds.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 18 December 1979, Harrogate
Hull City First Game: 28 August 1999, Macclesfield Town H (League Division 3), 19 years, 253 days old
Hull City Final Game: 7 December 1999, York City A (Associate Members’ Cup First Round), 19 years, 354 days old

Clubs

Hull City (1998-2000), Bradford Park Avenue (2000, loan), Hereford United (2000-2004), Wrexham (2004), Milton Keynes Dons (2004-2006), Weymouth (2006-2007), Rushden & Diamonds (2007, loan)

Hull City Record

Career: 4 apps, 0 goals

Matthew Baker
SeasonLGE
App
LGE
Gls
FAC
App
FAC
Gls
FLC
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FLC
Gls
EUR
App
EUR
Gls
OTH
App
OTH
Gls
1998/99----------
1999/000 (2)0--0 (1)0--1 (0)0

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