Eddie Bailham

Eddie Bailham was a prolific goalscorer for the Lilywhites, who held the record for scoring the most league goals in a season for nearly 50 years until it was broken in 2014 by Adam Marriott. Eddie having scored 32 league goals during the 1965/66 season.

Eddie Bailham (4th from the right) on his full international debut

Eddie Bailham was born in Dublin on May 8th, 1941 and was the son of Bob Bailham. Bob had been a good footballer too and had played in the League of Ireland. At the age of eleven, Eddie became the youngest player ever to be selected for the Ireland Boys Brigade side. He then went on to gain Junior International honours with the well known Dublin team, Home Farm. As a schoolboy, he signed amateur forms with Manchester United and during school holidays spent his time on the Old Trafford ground staff. Someone else there at the same who was to make his name as a footballer was Johnny Giles. Eddie then joined Cork Hibs before signing for Shamrock Rovers in 1960. His bustling style and his powerful shooting help him win many honours over the next four seasons including League of Ireland Championship medals and F.A.I. Cup winner's medals. One of those was in 1964 when he scored both of the Shamrock Rovers goals. His scoring feats saw being picked for the League of Ireland team to play the English League in October 1963, a game that they won. All in all he played the League of Ireland on 4 occasions, scoring four times. His only full international cap came on May 24th,1964 against England at Dalymount Park, Ireland. A game that England won 3-1. The England side included Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Charlton, George Eastham and Ron Flowers.

In October 1964, Eddie joined Cambridge City for a fee of £2,500, having last played for Shamrock Rovers in the European Cups against Rapid Vienna. At Cambridge he was soon banging in the goals for the Lilywhites. His first goal being in a 2-1 defeat at home to Cheltenham Town in the Southern League Premier Division on October 10th. That season he was to score 27 league goals and 42 in total. These included two hat-tricks: against Kettering Town on November 18th in the Eastern Professional Floodlite League and against March Town in the Fenland Cup. The following season saw Eddie score 32 league games (including 4 away at Poole Town) and 64 in total. These included a hat-trick as the Lilywhites beat Soham Town 8- in the first qualifying round of the F.A. Cup. The 1966/67 season saw the Lilywhites get to the 1st round of the F.A. Cup for the first time in eighteen years, only to go out 4-1 to Ashford Town. City by this time were a club in cash crisis and as a result the players were offered part-time contracts. Many of the players decided they wished to leave and Eddie was one of them. That season had seen him score 20 goals for the Lilywhites (nine in the Southern League and eleven in other matches). All in all Eddie had at that time scored 126 goals for the Lilywhites (68 in the Southern League and 58 in other matches). Eddie then joined Worcester City for a fee of around £2,000. His last goal for the Lilywhites being against Brentwood Town on January 17th in the Eastern Professional Floodlite League. Worcester at that time were struggling at the wrong end of the Southern League Premier but despite banging in the goals he could not prevent them from being relegated. Though intending to stay and help Worcester re-gain their place in the Premier Division, he joined Wimbledon in October 1967 for £1,600 after criticism of his style of play by the management and supporters. For Worcester he had scored 21 goals in 47 games. At Wimbledon he helped them finish as Southern League runners up in 1968/69 and Southern League Cup winners in 1969/70.

In January 1972, Eddie returned to Cambridge City. There he teamed up with Stan Marshall and the former Swansea, Tottenham and Wales star, Cliff Jones. What a forward line. He opened his account on his return with a goal in the Lilywhites 5-0 thumping of Bath City in the Southern League on February 12th. Stan Marshall scored three of the others. The following season, which was to be his last at Cambridge City, saw him finish as top scorer. Banging in 21 Southern League goals (including 4 against Barnet and a hat-tick against Waterlooville in the next match). Having left Cambridge City, for whom he had scored 157 goals in two spells, he joined Bexley United before ending his playing career at Chesham United.

Footnote: 

Most of this information is taken from an article by Bill Cook in the programme of match between Worcester City and Cambridge City on January 11th, 1997 or from the Cambridge City programme v Margate (November 6th,1965).