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Tommy Baldwin one of the two who played for three of the four

Tommy Baldwin was born on 10 June 1945 in Gateshead.  He is, with George Graham, one of only two players to have played for three of the top four clubs of recent years.

Although he made his name at Chelsea, he has often spoken of his time of Arsenal and his admiration of Arsenal and Wenger, as opposed to Mourinho and Chelsea, as in this quote:

“As a boy of 15 growing up at Arsenal, the first thing you were told was, ‘Keep a clean sheet and we get a point’. That was Arsenal’s policy, even under George. Nowadays with Wenger, sometimes they play like Brazilians. It’s beautiful to watch.”

Tommy Baldwin started out playing for Wrekenton Juniors and moved directly from there to Arsenal.  He turned professional in 1962, and made his league début in the 3–0 defeat of Birmingham City on 6 April 1965.

On 13 September 1966, he scored Arsenal’s first ever goal in the League Cup   Indeed he made the league cup his thing scoring four times in  the three games against Gillingham:

  • 2 September 1967: Arsenal 1 Gillingham 1 (Baldwin) 13,029
  • 22 September 1967: Gillingham 1 Arsenal 1 (Baldwin) 20,566
  • 28 September 1967: Arsenal 5 Gillingham 0 (Baldwin 2, McLintock 2, Coakley.  18409.

However after the away game with Chelsea on 24 September 1967 which Arsenal lost 1-3, negotiations had started for a deal between Chelsea and Arsenal, and the second  Gillingham replay on 28 September turned out to be his last game.  He had played 8 league games and scored 2, and 3 league cup games and scored four that season.

In fact Tommy Baldwin was part of the deal that brought George Graham to Arsenal as a player.  Baldwin travelled to Chelsea, with Arsenal making up the difference in valuation with £50,000 cash.

It was a deal that Liverpool did their best to scupper.  Arsenal had already purchased Bob McNab from Huddersfield and Liverpool were then beaten again as Bertie Mee signed Graham.  What really annoyed Liverpool was that McNab had spent a day in Liverpool talking to Bill Shankley and taking a medical.  Either Bob didn’t fancy the run-down nature of Liverpool at the time, or else he couldn’t understand a word Shankley said.  Or both.

As for George Graham, he said in the Daily Mirror (30 Sep 1966), “I wanted to leave Chelsea, but I didn’t want to leave London.  Arsenal are a fine club. They have Dave Sexton as their coach, and he did more than anyone for me when he was at Chelsea.”

As for Tommy Baldwin he was one of the old school of players.  Speaking of his Chelsea days he once said, “We were down the King’s Road every night with all the actors and actresses. We had a real showbiz team: we had Ossie [Peter Osgood] and Charlie Cooke. Boy, we used to entertain.

“The players don’t seem to be having the same sort of fun now. We used to go to the local boozer after games and see the supporters. They would tell you if you’d had a good game or not. Nowadays they go their own way after matches. There’s not the same camaraderie.”

Tommy scored 17 goals for Chelsea in his first season, and played in the 1967 FA Cup Final for them and again in the cup final against Leeds in 1970.  He also played in the CWC cup final replay against Real Madrid, but arguments with the management over his social life edged him out of Chelsea.

He went on loan to Man U and Millwall, and then played for Gravesend and Northfleet before becoming a non-contract player with Brentford and a coach, ending his playing career with Seattle Sounders.

Beyond that I regret I don’t have any information.  If you know, please write in.

Season Club Lge games Goals
1962/6 Arsenal 17 7
1966/74 Chelsea 187 73
1974 Millwall (loan) 6 1
1974 Manchester United (loan) 2 0
?? Gravesend & Northfleet  ??  ??
1975 Seattle Sounders 15 5
1977/8 Brentford 4 1

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