Riots End Arsenal Match On This Day, 7th August 1965

Under normal circumstances, I doubt there would have been any or much, coverage of this match at all. It barely registered on the back pages but that’s because it was all over the front of the dailies.

Arsenal had made a short tour of the West Indies, beating Trinidad and a Jamaican Select XI 3-1 and 12-0 (Joe Baker netting six) respectively. This was a match against the Jamaica international team.

From the press reports, it appears that as pre-season friendlies go, this started out tetchy and quickly degenerated; Joe Baker is named as the start and finish of it all. With refereeing leniency a by-word in friendlies, it is hardly surprising that matters were out of control. Red cards suggest two things; the referee was panicking and the players were fired up. McLintock and Howe were both dismissed which sparked the initial suspension of play for around ten minutes.

The crowd was unimpressed and a volatile atmosphere ensued, erupting finally with Joe Bake fighting with one of the home players. The reaction saw the match abandoned before the interval was reached.

A mixed day for Baker and a match which might have slipped from his memory were it not for the fact that hours later, his wife gave birth to a daughter. It would be hard to forget the events of that day.

“Dad, were you in the hospital when I was born”
“No, I was in the middle of a riot”
“Oh, Sauchiehall Street…”