Reilly showed he was a real Buddie to Baird

John Baird wants to get his hands on the Ramsdens Cup again on Sunday. 1414165
John Baird wants to get his hands on the Ramsdens Cup again on Sunday. 1414165
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John Baird already has a Challenge Cup winner’s medal in his cabinet - but on Sunday he wants to pick up one he feels he deserves.

Baird was a youngster at St Mirren in 2005 when the Buddies made their way to the final, before its current sponsorship with Ramsdens, but despite having played in the build up to the Excelsior Stadium showpiece, he was an unused squad player.

St Mirren went on to beat Hamilton 2-1 and, after joining the rest of the squad on the park to celebrate, the generosity of one of his team mates saw the striker rewarded for his efforts in earlier rounds.

Baird said: “I didn’t get stripped for that game, I was in the stand, but Mark Reilly gave me his medal after the game.

“I was on the pitch and he asked me ‘how many games have you been involved in from the rounds before?’.

“I think I had been involved in all of them and told him then he said ‘right, take this’ and gave me his medal.

“I was crying at the time.

“I was only 19-years-old and he didn’t need to do that.

“He was 35 and that was his last season and his last cup final so it meant a lot to me for him to do that because it showed what he thought of me.

“I ran up the stand and gave it to my mum and still have it in a cabinet.”

Now Baird is focused on making sure he earns another medal on Sunday by putting Rangers to the sword.

The forward has picked up at Raith where he left off before leaving for Dundee, and then Partick Thistle, by banging in the goals for the Kirkcaldy men.

“Because I wasn’t selected for the cup final I didn’t feel like a deserved that medal,” he said.

“It’s a big thing.

“That game was a great occasion - it had to be delayed for half and hour before the kick-off.

“That St Mirren team was going for the league and we had a great dressing room, just like we have here at Raith Rovers.”

Raith have history at Easter Road this season, seeing off Hibs in the semi-finals.

That can play into the Kirkcaldy side’s hands reckons Baird.

“It’s a mid-set we’ll have that we’ve already been to Easter Road and won a game,” he said.

“The boys know what we’re going into.”