Emotional Baird close to tears after historic cup final winner

John Baird celebrates his Ramsdens Cup winning goal with Calum Elliot and Joe Cardle. Pic: Neil Doig
John Baird celebrates his Ramsdens Cup winning goal with Calum Elliot and Joe Cardle. Pic: Neil Doig

John Baird choked back the tears as he described how much Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup final winner meant to him.

The Raith Rovers striker fired home an 117th minute winner in front of 4000 delirious Rovers fans, and proud family members.

An emotional Baird said afterwards: “I don’t think there’s words to describe scoring a winner against one of the Old Firm in a cup final with a minute to go. It’s just a dream.

“It’s things you work for through your career, playing with Montrose and people writing you off, then you get into a cup final.

“If someone told me with a week left of the transfer window I’d be playing against Rangers in a cup final and scoring the winner I would never have believed them.

“I was at a low because I wasn’t playing football, and this is just unbelievable ... unbelievable.

“I just know that the family will be proud. They came through in a minibus - and they watch me every week - so it’s something for them as well.”

Rovers were given little hope of victory in the build-up and Baird was delighted to have proved the doubters wrong.

“What an unbelievable team effort,” he said. “Everybody wrote us off and perhaps rightly so.

“That’s a team that’s classed as having SPL players. They’ve been cherry-picked to come down and win finals for Rangers and take them where they want to go.

“Rangers were overwhelming favourites, but that gives us something to go and prove that we deserved to be on that stage.

“A lot of the build-up was all Rangers, Rangers, Rangers - but then if it wasn’t for them, it wouldn’t have been the spectacle it was.”

Baird pointed to the team spirit in Rovers dressing room as the key factor in the historic win.

“That team spirit that the Raith dressing room has got is right up there,” he said.

“If we didn’t have that dressing room we wouldn’t have got through extra-time.

“To do what we’ve done is incredible, we’ve made a lot of people happy.”

Raith captain Jason Thomson also spoke of his pride at becoming the second player after Gordon Dalziel to lift a national trophy for the Kirkcaldy side.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “For myself it’s a great honour to captain the club and lift that trophy.

“It’s up there with 1994 and some of us will go down in history books.

“We knew we were capable of getting the win on the day. We showed guts and determination and got the win.

“It might not have been a great game to watch but we don’t really care.”

Thomson releaved that Rovers approached the game confident of causing an upset.

“There was a lot said about how Rangers were favourites but we felt we could put in a performance and get a result,” he added.

“We’ve shown in one-off games that we can play with the best.

“We might not have had as many clear cut chances as them, but we got the only goal of game and that’s what counts. “Lee did great to keep us in the game, and then we’ve pushed on and got the winner at the end.”