Ian Baker Muir (part two)

Dec 5, 2021 | News

…Two of those appearances were against Liverpool and the crowd of 38,320 at Anfield in September 1955, when Rovers were 2-0 winners (Biggs and Bradford the goalscorers), was the biggest crowd he ever played in front of during his Rovers career.

Apparently, Rovers put in an outstanding performance at Anfield, as this report suggests; ‘Their win at Stoke last Monday was the result of constructive and aggressive football of the highest order, but against Liverpool they played a brand of soccer that could take them to the First Division.

‘Muir, deputising for Warren, had the hardest test for he had to watch the Scottish international Liddell who is still a most competent and strong player, whether at centre forward or on the wing.

‘After taking 15 minutes or so to settle down, during which he was, not unnaturally, a little nervous Muir went on to play very well. Warren could not have done more.’

Rovers: Radford, Bamford, Allcock, Pitt, Muir, Sampson, Petherbridge, Biggs, Meyer, Bradford, Watling.

That, really, was as good as it got for him at Eastville, although he did appear in two more league games in the 1956/57 season when the club again achieved a ninth placed finish.

His final game came in a 2-0 home defeat against Middlesbrough on January 12th 1957 on a day when Brian Clough scored one of the visitors’ goals.

Hit by injury and illness Rovers drafted in three reserve players for this game, namely Ian, David Lawrence and James Anderson and the report of the game wasn’t too complimentary about their performances; ‘The three reserves who came into the side lent neither stability nor confidence to the defence. It is a big jump from the Football Combination to the Second Division and on this occasion, it was too big a jump.

‘There is no point in being censorious. The three newcomers left gaps and often failed to tackle cleanly or distribute accurately. Let’s leave it there.’

Rovers: Nicholls, Muir, Lawrence, Pitt, Hale, Anderson, Petherbridge, Biggs, Bradford, Ward, Hooper.

He was released in the summer of 1957 after making 26 appearances, all in the league. Strangely, he never appeared in an FA Cup tie for Rovers, nor did he appear in any of the Gloucestershire Cup ties played during his four years at Eastville.

Oldham Athletic paid Rovers a fee of £200 to take him to Boundary Park in June 1957 and during his one year with the Latics he was appointed club captain and appeared in 35 Division Three (North) games. He also won a Lancashire Cup winner’s medal when his side beat Manchester City in the 1958 final of the competition.

Ian moved to Rhyl in July 1958 and retired from the game five years later and returned to Bristol where he worked at the GB Britton Shoe factory in Kingswood before spending 19 years as a caretaker at Kingsfield School.


(Inside the Eastville Dressing Room; Ian gets changed alongside George Petherbridge and Harry Bamford)

Ian, who was 80 at the time of his death, and his wife Pauline had two daughters.

That completes the articles covering the Rovers careers of John and Ian Hamilton and John and Ian Muir. The series on fathers and sons will resume early in the New Year, beginning with Ray and Gary Mabbutt.

A Rovers team photo from 1955/56. Ian is stood on the back row, far right next to Paddy Hale

Keith Brookman