Des Baker (Bill Fellows) 1997-1999
First Regular Appearance: 1.1 (#1) Tuesday 14th October 1997
Last Regular Appearance: 2.54 (#118) Thursday 4th March 1999
Duration: EP: 1 - 118 ½ SE: 1.1 – 2.54
Position: Harchester United Supporters Trust / Youth Team Academy & Digs Landlord
Last Seen: On his way to being reunited with his family, leaving a letter behind for Frank and Helen to find.
A life-long fan, Des was always a big part of Harchester United, without ever playing for the team or being an official club employee, unless you count a stint as a matchday Dragon mascot! Des won the heart of, and married Lynette in 1979, and they had two children, daughter Zoe followed five years later by Steven. For Lynette, Harchester United was always the third person in her relationship with Des; he would never have left her for another woman but sometimes it seemed his love for the Dragons equalled that of hers.
The Baker’s home doubled as a digs, and over several years the family housed many of the club’s youth team members. Future Dragons legend Karl Fletcher was among those who stayed during their pre-professional days. By 1997, the newest member of the first team to be living at the Baker’s was Dean Hocknell, alongside his younger brother Sean and Vincent Osamabiku in the youth team. Des is stuck in France after travelling for an away match when new apprentice Conor McCarthy arrives from Northern Ireland, and when the family miss Des’ message about his arrival, there is a series of embarrassments for Conor.
Des was devoted to Lynette (so much so he returned from an away game without having a threesome with two Blackburn fans!), but wasn’t always sure of her faithfulness. Lynette was always a close friend to her ex-boyfriend Michael Jacobs, and a mother figure to his daughter Georgina, and in early 1998 Des’ suspicions that the two are involved in an affair leads to him punching Michael. Shortly after Michael dies from a heart attack, Zoe celebrates her eighteenth birthday, and discovers the deceased chairman bequeathed shares in the club to her. Des now fears Zoe may be Jacobs’ daughter, and the two take a DNA test to put their minds at rest. Before learning the results however, both Des and Zoe decide they don’t need to know, as they have always been father and daughter no matter what.
At the season’s close, Des has his eye on new facilities for the family that would be a new academy for the youth team. Lynette is not happy about this, but sticks to her side of the deal that they will go if Harchester survive relegation. The move happens, but Lynette feels even more in a rut and tired of coming second to football. She tells Des she has accepted a job on a three-month cruise and leaves him behind. Lonely without Lynette, Des befriends youth team educational officer Helen Jensen, and when Lynette sends a Christmas card saying she has met someone else and is settling in Southampton, Des and Helen have a brief fling. Helen however, wants to be with Ian Coates more than anything and feels neglected while he attends to his wife and children.
Convinced by Jerry Block to be his main candidate for 'The Dragon Party', Des takes on a new career in local politics. Being a hard-working father standing up for the everyday person, Des does rather well, coming only fifty votes behind the established Councillor Lal. In March 1999 there is a chance of a reunion for Des when Lynette and the kids are in Florida, and Des takes the second chance to put his family first again. After this, Des stays down south with them, leaving Harchester behind but always to be supporting the lads.