Following the sad news last weekend that former Cambridge United Chairman Terry Baker passed away aged 83, fellow Honorary Director of the Football Club Colin Proctor pens a tribute on behalf of the Club.
I was fortunate enough to know Terry since the late 1950s. He was educated at the County High School for boys between 1946-51, and did his national service from 18 years old for two years in the RAF.
At the time that I first met Terry, he lived very close to the Abbey Stadium indeed, on Peveral Road. He held at high position at Pye's of Cambridge Television, before he and his wife started their own business which dealt with all white goods that came to the area. The business was highly successful for many years and was sold three years ago.
Whilst I cannot remember Terry's first stint on the Board of Directors at Cambridge United, he was on the board during the days of Reg Smart and David Ruston. He was also on the board too during the Gary Harwood and John Howard days.
Terry was also Chairman himself on three occasions.
He invested significant money across a number of years to ensure the Football Club continued to survive financially, sponsoring and supporting the Club's youth development projects. He was particularly instrumental in helping Cambridge Fans United (led by Dave Matthew-Jones, Simon Turner and myself) when they attempted to buy back the ground from John Howard, pledging a significant chunk of the money raised as an incentive, but just missed out by 48 hours. His investment though was key when the club faced administration.
He was on the Board of Directors a further two times following that, between 2008 and 2009, as well as a four year stint between 2012 and 2016. And when he stepped down from the board during the latter, he was made an Honorary Director of the Football Club.
He rarely missed a home or away game and was also very active with local football in Over, where he lived.
He was a kind and witty man who will very much be missed at the Abbey Stadium.
Rest in Peace Terry.
Cambridge United Football Club would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Terry's wife Val, as well as his family and friends.