Richard Baker

It is with great sadness that we inform our members of the death on 16th December of Richard Baker, the younger brother of Chris and uncle of David. Richard’s wife passed away about four years ago. He is survived by three daughters and a son. He would have been 87 years old on Christmas Eve.

Richard attended Ermysted’s Grammar School and then Leeds University whilst living in Grassington. His father, Canon John Baker, was the rector and the family lived in the rectory on Hebden Road.

Richard went to Devon to complete further studies before moving to Henley where he lived for many years before retiring to Long Sutton in Somerset. For many years whilst in Henley Richard worked for the Grassland Research Institute and often lectured on his specialist subject.

Whilst living at home in Grassington, and between his studies, Richard was welcomed on the farms of the Metcalfe family in Linton and the Falshaw family in Hubberholme where he experienced farming life.

Between 1949 and 1958 Richard dedicated his sporting life to Wharfedale Rugby Club. He was a very regular member of the first team and can be clearly seen on the team photographs displayed in the clubhouse. His finest hour came in 1957!

It was in that year that “Upper Wharfedale” reached the final of the Yorkshire Shield against Moortown. The match was played at Ilkley and resulted in a draw, and so there had to be a replay. Wharfedale were struck with injuries but, true to form and character, they won the day with their centre, Richard Baker, kicking two drop goals to clinch victory.

Richard didn’t play any serious rugby after he left the area but there is no doubt that his allegiances stayed with Wharfedale and he would not miss a game at the Avenue if he was visiting.

As in the case of all our absent friends, there will be those who have fond memories of Richard and his gentlemanly and kind presence in our special community.

We hope that our thoughts will touch his family.

Managed by a ThriveWP care plan. ❤️