NewsNorthern Ireland

Tributes paid after NI Rangers fan dies in coach crash

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
The scene of the crash on the A76
The scene of the crash on the A76
Rangers fan Ryan Baird died in Ayrshire
Rangers fan Ryan Baird died in Ayrshire

Tributes have been paid to a Northern Irish Rangers fan who died in a coach crash in Scotland.

Ryan Baird, 39, originally from Larne, was killed when a coach overturned in East Ayreshire yesterday.

The crash happened just after 1pm on the A76 near Kilmarnock.

18 others were taken to hospital after the crash. Three of those injured are in a serious condition. 

The coach was hired by Nith Valley Rangers supporters club to take fans to Ibrox ahead of Rangers' game against Partick Thistle.

In a statement, 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.”

Celtic FC also released a statement saying: "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."

While it is still unclear why the coach crashed, early reports suggest the coach swerved before toppling over into the side of the road.

A spokesperson from the Scottish police said: "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."