Eddie Baily was a loyal servant of the club in many capacities through many years, beginning that career in 1945 and having his time at Tottenham split by World War II, ending up being at Tottenham for 29 years as a player and assistant manager. A confident, bubbly inside forward who constantly wanted to better himself. Was able to mix up the play by holding the ball, dribbling with it or catching out the opposition with a first time pass. Whatever he did, Eddie Baily always looked to go forward.
Eddie was signed up as a 14 year old in 1938, who was attending Mount Pleasant School and was spotted by Spurs scout Jim "Dodger" Joyce, when playing for Hackney Schoolboys against Edmonton Schoolboys in the Corinthian Shield. While he also represented Middlesex Boys, he was brought on at Tottenham Juniors and other nursery clubs Spurs used to hone the talents of their youngsters before bringing them into the senior set-up. His first success was as a part of the Tottenham Juniors side that won the Tottenham Charity Cup in 1943, beating Crossbrook Sports.
A keen cricketer too, Eddie played for London Boys and even had a few games at Essex County Cricket club in their second XI. Having left school, he went on to work at a local printing company Hunt & Partners, as well as a stock-broking firm, Gustav Ellison in the City. He spent time as an amateur footballer at Finchley before being called up for service in the Second World War in the 70th Battalion of the Royal Scots, being sent to Belgium, Holland and Germany. A Cockney Scot, he played for the B.A.O.R (British Army On the Rhine) against Polish, Czechoslovakian, French and Swiss Army XIs, after impressing in his unit team.
This meant that when he returned to England in 1945, he found himself without a club as Spurs had not maintained his registration, as they had mistakenly believed he had been lost in action, so Baily was signed by Chelsea. When the player was found to be at Stamford Bridge, Spurs explained the situation to Chelsea and they released him to return back to White Hart Lane. As he was still doing his National Service, he did not link up with Spurs full time until October that year.
He was a major player in the Arthur Rowe "Push and Run" side of 1949-51, which took the Second Division and the First Division titles in successive seasons. His energetic and confident play was an integral part of the team's style and it brought him to the attention of the England selectors, who picked him nine times for the national side in the 1950s. His dynamic runs and accurate passing made him a pivotal figure in the Spurs midfield and his reliability meant he played every game in the three seasons around the two title successes. Rated as one of the best forwards in the game in the 1949-50 season, Eddie also played for England B v Switzerland B in January 1950 and the Football League v League of Ireland in February 1950 and Scottish League in March 1950. His fiery nature was both a benefit and a drawback sometimes, as he was dropped for a FA Cup game against Arsenal in 1949-50 too.
During the league programme either side of the war, Baily played 325 competitive games for the club, netting 69 goals.
There was a controversial incident in his Tottenham career, which was notable, when playing against Huddersfield Town at White Hart Lane on 2nd April 1952. Spurs won a last minute corner, which Baily took and the ball hit the back of the referee, bouncing back to the Spurs inside forward, who immediately crossed for Duquemin to head home a last gaps winner. Although another player had not touched the ball, the referee had been stunned by being hit by the ball and allowed the goal to stand, giving Tottenham a 1-0 win, despite the heated protests from the Terriers' players.
During his time at Spurs, Eddie won England recognition, firstly with the B team, but then winning nine full caps against Spain (1950), Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and Wales (1951), Austria (twice), Switzerland and Wales (1952) and Northern Ireland (1953). His full debut against Spain was at the 1950 World Cup finals.
After ten years, in which he scored 64 league goals in 296 league appearances, He left Tottenham in January 1956 to join Port Vale, where he stayed for nine months, playing 26 league games and scoring eight goals. From Vale Park, he moved to Nottingham Forest, helping them to regain their First Division status, then on to Leyton Orient where he also began coaching and once more spurred the club he was at to rise to the top flight. When he retired from playing in the summer of 1961, he had scored 89 league goals in 419 league appearances.
Returned to White Hart Lane on 2nd October 1963 as Bill Nicholson's assistant manager, where he led Spurs to a successful period of the club's history at home and in Europe. Always a stern taskmaster with his players, he still held the belief in the "Tottenham Way" that was a trademark of the teams he played for and coached. As Bill Nicholson was often involved in coaching the England Under-23 team on summer tours, Eddie was in charge of the team for many pre-season tours and also took the Reserve to success in the Football Combination and the London Challenge Cup.
Eddie left in September 1974, before moving on to scout for Chelsea, coaching at Chesham United and Corinthians, before he worked at West Ham where he took on the Chief scout role for 16 years. Helped Ron Greenwood with the England squad as a scout reporting on opponents and then worked as a scout for Ipswich Town in the late 1990s, before retiring to live in Brookman's Park, Hertfordshire. During his time after Spurs and then at West Ham United, he was a PE teacher at Bishops Stopford's school in Enfield.
He was awarded a testimonial game, which originally was to be against West Ham United, but they were too busy to fit a game into their schedule and a local match at Enfield was arranged. It looked as though this would not realise too much money for Eddie, coming on the eve of the FA Cup final, but on the day of the match, manager Terry Venables was sacked by Alan Sugar and a big crowd attended at Southbury Road to watch the game, voicing their views on the news that broke earlier that day and Eddie was the main beneficiary of Venables' loss.
Married to Elsie, they had a daughter Jane and a son Graham.
Eddie Baily passed away at a hospital in Welwyn Garden City on 13th October 2010.