Carl Baker dedicates Pompey triumph to brother who died seven years ago

Carl Baker celebrates his goal in the 4-2 win over Wycombe today Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker celebrates his goal in the 4-2 win over Wycombe today Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey scorer Carl Baker said his superb performance was for the much-loved brother he lost seven years ago.

On an emotional day, the player earned the man-of-the-match award and dedicated it to his brother Mike on the anniversary of his death from leukaemia.

After the 4-2 victory over Wycombe Wanderers, in which he scored Pompey’s fourth goal, Baker tweeted: ‘Very special day for myself and family today after losing my brother 7 years ago today! A win, goal and mom (man of the match) all for u mate. Miss u loads x’

Baker has often spoken of his brother’s death - and the recovery from cancer of his youngest brother Dean.

Just two days after Mike’s death in 2009, the dedicated professional insisted on turning out for his then club Stockport County.

Stockport took 159 fans to the match at Yeovil - and every one of them signed a condolences card that was given to the player after the game, in which he scored both goals in a 2-2 draw.

He later told the Manchester Evening News: ‘Ever since that Yeovil game, I’ve wanted to do it for Mike.

‘He was my biggest fan, he came to every game. It drives you on, it’s maybe an inner strength you find when something like that happens. Some people can go the other way, get deflated and go backwards, but you can’t dwell on things, otherwise you won’t succeed.

‘You try to take the positives and I think my football’s given my family something to smile about and helped them get through it.’

Saturday’s starring performance for Pompey was not the first time that Baker has scored on the anniversary of the death of his beloved eldest brother, who was in his early 30s.

Five years ago, he scored the winner for Coventry City in a match against Derby County.

And after the game, he revealed how his youngest brother Dean had beaten leukaemia.

He told the Coventry Evening Telegraph: ‘He got it at the age of 16 and after three years of chemotherapy, bone marrow and everything possible he has just been given the best news in the world,

‘So that’s been really tough and been a double blow for the family. We have said it is the rarest thing that can happen because it is not hereditary, so it has been a tough time but it has brought us much closer as a family and gives us all that little bit of belief to drive on and do well in life.’