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Howard Baker

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameBenjamin Howard•Baker
Used nameHoward•Baker
Born13 February 1892 in Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England (GBR)
Died10 September 1987 in Warminster, Wiltshire, England (GBR)
Measurements190 cm / 89 kg
AffiliationsLiverpool Harriers, Liverpool (GBR)
NOC Great Britain

Biography

The greatest British high jumper of the pre-World War II era, Howard Baker improved the UK record three times and his 1921 record of 6-5 (1.95) stood for 25 years. In his two Olympic appearances, he performed below his best but, shortly after the 1920 Games, he beat the newly crowned Olympic champion, Dick Landon, in the British Empire vs. USA match. Baker was the AAA high jump champion three times before the war (1910, 1912-13), winning his first title at the age of 18 and, after serving in the Navy, won a further three AAA titles (1919-21) after the War. At the Northern Counties Championships, he won the 120y hurdles (1921), the high jump (1911-14, 1919-21), the discus (1920), and won the long jump at the 1920 Northern Olympic Trials.

Baker’s versatility extended to other sports: he played for the Liverpool Cricket Club, won the Welsh Covered Courts lawn tennis doubles title in 1932, and was an international class water polo player in addition to being an outstanding football (soccer) player. After having an amateur international trial as a centre-half, he won 10 amateur caps before making two full England appearances as a goalkeeper in 1921 and 1925. He switched to goalkeeping after sustaining an ankle injury during World War I. He played League football with Everton, Chelsea and Oldham Athletic. Baker joined the family firm of soap and chemical manufacturers and became a prominent businessman in the Liverpool area.

Personal Bests: 120yH – 18.0 (1921); HJ – 1.956 (6-5) (1921); LJ – 6.58 (21-7½) (1921); TJ – 13.675 (44-10¼) (1920); DT – 31.75 (104-2¼) (1920).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Howard Baker
High Jump, Men (Olympic) 11
Standing High Jump, Men (Olympic) NP r1/2
1920 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR Howard Baker
High Jump, Men (Olympic) 6
Triple Jump, Men (Olympic) 8 r1/2
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) DNS