Belfast Telegraph

Rangers manager among mourners at funeral of fan killed in bus crash

The Rangers manager has travelled to Northern Ireland to attend the funeral of a fan who was killed in a bus crash while heading to watch the club.

Ryan Baird, 39, was fatally injured when the bus carrying members of the Nith Valley Loyal Rangers Supporters' Club to Ibrox stadium overturned on the A76 near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, earlier this month.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton was among hundreds of mourners at the funeral service at Magheramorne Presbyterian Church in Larne, Co Antrim, on Saturday.

Mr Baird had been living in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, but was originally from Larne.

The father-of-two was due to marry his fiancee, Sarah Hughes, next year.

His funeral follows a memorial service in Sanquhar on Thursday where mourners wore Rangers scarves and formed a guard of honour outside the the town's St Bride's Church.

Further tributes were paid at the Rangers v Inverness Caledonian Thistle game the following day when a minute's silence was held in his memory and fans displayed a RIP Ryan Baird banner.

A total of 37 people, including the driver, were on board the bus when the crash happened at around 1.15pm on October 1 at the Crossroads roundabout near to Bowhouse Prison and 18 people were taken to hospital, three of whom were seriously injured.

Following the crash, both Celtic and Rangers issued statements passing on their condolences to Mr Baird's family and senior officials at the Ibrox club later met members of the supporters club and players visited crash victims in hospital.

Singer Rod Stewart, a Celtic fan, was among those who donated to a fund set up to help Mr Baird's family, saying: "At sad times like this we are one big football loving family."

A Rangers spokesman said on Saturday: "The management and staff have being doing their best to support all of those involved in this accident.

"It's the least we can do and we are more than happy if it helps in any way at this tragic time."


From Belfast Telegraph