Aberdeen footballer;

born March 14, 1930;

died June 19, 2006

HUGH Baird was the Scottish internationalist footballer who finally received his cap at the age of 76.

He made his international debut against Austria at Hampden in May 1956, but at that time, the Scottish Football Association awarded caps only for games against the home nations. But under a new ruling allowing players to pick up backdated caps for full internationals, Baird received his earlier this month - coincidentally just days before he died.

Speaking at the time, he said: "Not many players win a cap for Scotland at 76. I made only one appearance for the national side, so finally to get a cap after all these years means so much to me."

Born in Airdrie and a prolific striker for his hometown side of Airdrieonians, Hugh Baird was signed by Leeds United in 1957 before joining Aberdeen in 1958 for a then record transfer fee of GBP11,500. With the Dons, 6ft Baird proved a tough and determined forward, who stood out in the side.

His courage on the pitch was never in doubt. In his Airdrie days, he once appeared for training on a Monday in 1952 with black, blue and yellow blotches on his ribs, souvenirs of the game on Saturday against Willie Woodburn of Rangers.

The Aberdeen FC historian, Kevin Stirling, said that the mid-1950s were "a tough time for the club because the team was going through a bit of a slump. In that era, he was probably the best player in the side".

Baird turned out for the Dons for four years until 1962, making 86 appearances and scoring 25 goals.

He played on the losing side in the 1959 Scottish Cup final before turning out for Brechin City and various Highland League sides. After retiring from football, he settled in his adopted city of Aberdeen, raising six children.

Amiable and easy going, Baird loved nothing more than talking about football in his playing days.