Tributes To Rangers Fan Who Died In Bus Crash
2 October 2016, 12:01
Tributes have been paid to a 39-year-old man who died following a Rangers supporters' bus crash in Ayrshire which left 18 other people in hospital.
Ryan Baird died after the crash on the A76 at the Crossroads roundabout near Bowhouse Prison on Saturday at around 1.15pm, friends said.
One passenger said the coach "swerved'' at the roundabout and the bus landed on its side on a grass verge.
The coach was taking the Nith Valley Loyal Rangers Supporters' Club to Ibrox Stadium, where Rangers were due to play Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership.
Mr Baird, originally from Northern Ireland, was named by a family member and fellow fans. He had been living in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway.
His cousin, Louise Evanne Baird, said he was "amazing'' and would be "sadly missed''.
His partner, Sarah Hughes, also paid tribute to him, saying he had loved the club.
Many of Mr Baird's friends and family members have changed their profile pictures to a Nith Valley Loyal scarf in his memory.
The club said in a statement: "The club would like to thank everyone for their good wishes and concern at this sad time.''
Tributes were paid online from fans on both sides of the Old Firm divide and from Rangers supporters' clubs far and wide.
RangersLinfieldFC tweeted: "We have been informed that the man who sadly passed away was a Rangers and Linfield fan named Ryan Baird from Larne, Northern Ireland, RIP.''
In a club statement, Rangers said it was "deeply saddened'' by the crash, adding: "Our profound condolences go to the gentleman who has died and our thoughts are with his family.
"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.''
Rangers assistant manager Davie Weir said he was sure the club "will be very supportive in regards to anything they can do to help the situation''.
Celtic also passed on their condolences in a club statement.
The club said: "In relation to news of today's accident involving Rangers supporters on their way to the match, everyone at Celtic sends our sincere condolences following the death of a supporter.
"We would like of course to also offer our best wishes to all those involved in this accident.
"We understand a significant number of people have been affected and our thoughts are very much with them at what will be a difficult time for all these supporters and their families.''
Police Scotland said in a statement: "Police Scotland can confirm a 39-year-old man has died following a serious coach crash on the A76 near Crosshouse Roundabout.
"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.''
A total of 36 passengers and the driver were on board the bus at the time of the crash.
Police said inquiries are continuing and appealed for information.