Newark-born Steve Baines came into football as a Nottingham Forest apprentice but played only twice for the Tricky Trees before signing for Huddersfield Town in 1975. Spells at Bradford City and Walsall cemented his reputation as a firm but stylish centre-half, but he had to wait until helping Scunthorpe to the Fourth Division championship in 1983 before claiming any sort of personal honour from the game.
They were mad times at Scunny. The manager who built the promotion team, John Duncan, was pushed out in favour of the chairman's mate and Bainesy was allowed to go with him. Duncan, of course, came here in 1983 and made Steve one of his first transfer targets.
Appointed player/coach upon signing, Steve was one of the manager's most significant imports during his first spell in charge. As captain of the 1984-5 Fourth Division championship team, Steve was a commanding, inspirational presence and weighed in with some important goals. The relationship with the club appeared to go off the boil a little after Kevin Randall was brought in as assistant to John Duncan and Baines wound down his playing career in local non-league football.
An arthritic neck accelerated Steve's playing retirement but he took up refereeing and, in 1995, became the first player of the modern era to be promoted to the Football League list. Opposition to his elevation from within refereeing circles denied him a 'fast-track' route to the top but most players and managers were delighted with his performances and he was a good example for those proponents of the idea that ex-pros should be encouraged to take up the whistle at the end of their playing days.
Steve settled in
the Chesterfield area and remained keenly interested in the club's fortunes, to
the extent of being a founder-member of the steering group that set up the
Chesterfield Football Supporters Society in April 2001 to rescue the club from
the wanton criminality of the Darren Brown era. Since leaving football Steve has worked in the insurance industry and is currently a property broker.
For Chesterfield:132+1 league appearances, 9 goals.