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Chris Baird




Date of birth





Northern Ireland

Baird started his career in his home country with Ballymena United, before making a move to England with Southampton in 1998.

His first start for the Saints came on the final day of the 2002/03 season, and a week later he found himself in the starting eleven for the FA Cup final against Arsenal - they lost the game 1-0 but Baird was voted as the Saints man of the match. 

In the 2006/07 season, Baird transferred position to central defence where he made 51 appearances, earning himself the award for the Saints’ Player of the season. He went on to captain his country and star for Fulham following a £3million move to Craven Cottage in 2007.

His versatility was irreplaceable, making seamless changes from centre back to midfield covering for injuries on a variety of occasions. His time with the Cottagers came to an end in 2013, he was one of twelve players released by the club at the end of the season.

Reading manager Nigel Adkins added experience by the bucket-load by swooping to sign the out-of-contract utility man on a short-term deal in September 2013. Needing to bolster our midfield options following a nasty knee injury to the livewire that is Jem Karacan, the Northern Irish international brought eight years of Premier League experience and more than 60 international caps with him to Madejski Stadium.

Reliable, robust in the tackle, and with a flair for the long-range spectacular, ‘Bairdinho’ made his Madejski Stadium bow in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City and totted up eight more starts before an ankle injury brought his Royals career to an early end.

A short-term deal with Burnley followed before Baird joined up with Premier League boys West Brom until the end of the 2014/15 season. Derby County are now the newest recipients of the midfielder’s signature, having signed up him on a two-year deal last June.