Tributes paid to '˜amazing' Larne man who lost life in Rangers bus tragedy
Tributes have been paid to a man originally from Larne who was killed after a coach transporting Rangers fans to the Ibrox Stadium overturned.
Ryan Baird, who had moved to Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway, lost his life during the incident in East Ayrshire.
The tragedy occurred at around 1.15pm on Saturday October 1 on the A76 at the Crossroads Roundabout near Kilmarnock.
Tributes to Mr Baird flooded in on social media as details of the incident emerged.
His cousin Louise Evanne Baird posted that the incident hadn’t “sunk in yet.”
She stated: “RIP to my incredible cousin Ryan who sadly passed away in the Rangers bus crash today. You were an amazing cousin and you will be sadly missed.
“I am trying to think of all our happy memories that we shared and how you were always there for me no matter what. Thoughts go out to the rest of my family at this time. ❤Still can’t believe it.”
Mr Baird’s partner Sarah Hughes poignantly updated her social media profile to show a poem dedicated to Mr Baird with his picture and the Rangers Supporters Club emblem.
She also added the badge of the Nith Valley Loyal Rangers Supporters Club, who were on the bus at the time of the incident, as her profile picture.
Meanwhile, Mr Baird’s sister Maree, who still lives in Larne, updated her social media profile to show a picture of herself with her late brother as hundreds of local people posted messages of sympathy.
Nith Valley Rangers Supporters Club added: “The club would like to thank everyone for their good wishes & concern at this sad time.”
Several clubs in the Larne area took to Facebook to convey their sympathy to Mr Baird’s family.
Larne Rangers Supporters’ Club stated: “The committee and members of LARNE RSC would like to express our sympathies to the family of Ryan Baird who sadly passed away today on his way to watch his beloved Rangers. Ryan was a ex member of our club and left to start a new life in Scotland a few years ago. Let’s raise a glass to absent friends.”
Cairncastle Flute Band, of which Mr Baird was a former member, posted: “Cairncastle Flute Band would like to offer the Baird Family our sincere condolences for their sudden loss today.
“Ryan was a past CFB member and will always be remember with great affection. Gone but not forgotten Ryan! Another absent friend taken too soon.”
Mr Baird was also a past member of the Constable N Memorial Flute Band.
The group stated: “Folks a bit sad news an ex member of the band from while back Ryan Baird has been tragically killed in bus crash going to support the team he loved.”
Referring to Mr Baird’s family, it added: “sorry for your loss folks and pass on sympathy to your family circle.”
The Walker Club Larne Branch-Apprentice Boys of Derry added: “It’s with deepest sympathy I regret the death of a personal friend Ryan Baird and pass on my condolences to the entire Baird family.”
Rangers were playing Partick Thistle at Ibrox stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a statement, Rangers Football Club said they were “deeply saddened to learn of a dreadful accident involving a coach carrying supporters to this afternoon’s match at Ibrox.”
“Our profound condolences go to the gentleman who has died and our thoughts are with his family,” it added.
“We are also thinking of those who have been injured and taken to hospital.”
Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson said: “Everyone at the football club and every member of our Rangers family is thinking of all of those caught up in this terrible accident. Clearly this is a deeply distressing time and the Board extend our deepest sympathies and concerns. While winning today’s match was of vital importance everything that happened on the pitch between 3pm and 5pm pales into insignificance in light of this awful news.
Police Scotland said that an additional 18 people had been taken to hospital for treatment, three of whom were “in a serious condition.”
A spokesman stated: “We can confirm a 39-year-old man has died following a serious coach crash on the A76 near Crossroads Roundabout.
“A report will be prepared for the Procurator Fiscal. Eighteen people are receiving treatment in hospital, three of whom are in a serious condition. This includes seven men under 20 years of age. Three men and three women aged between 30 and 59 and five men over 60. Enquiries are ongoing.”