Former Dons striker Hugh Baird died at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on Monday 19th of June 2006 at the age of 76. Hugh Baird was a record signing for Aberdeen when he joined the Dons for £11,500 from Leeds United in 1958, the highest fee the Club had ever paid up to that time. Born in Calderbank on 14th March 1930, Baird started out with Dalry Thistle before joining Airdrie in March 1951.
It was during a prolific spell with the Broomfield club that Hugh made his mark in the game. It was after a record goals haul with Airdrie that he gained his one and only full international appearance against Austria at Hampden in May 1956. He went on to become the top scorer in the Scottish League with an incredible 117 goals in three seasons. Airdrie were promoted to the First Division in 1955 mainly due to Baird's 53-goal haul in one season.
The jump in class did not stop Baird from leading the scoring charts with a 37-goal total the following season. After asking for a transfer he was soon on his way to the English League despite interest from Aberdeen. He moved to Leeds in a £13,000 deal as a replacement for the legendary John Charles. It was after a 15-month spell in Yorkshire that Aberdeen tempted Baird back to Scotland in 1958. Baird was seen as an ideal spearhead for a young Aberdeen side under Dave Shaw. Hugh Baird made his Aberdeen debut against Stirling Albion on 11th October 1958 and wasted no time in getting amongst the goals.
Two weeks later Hugh scored four of the Dons five goals in their 5-0 win over Falkirk. It was in the latter stages of his career that he reverted to a wing half role and he thrived on the challenge in his later years. Among his 25 goals for the Dons in his 86 first team appearances was the Dons consolation in the 1959 Scottish Cup Final against St Mirren. Remarkably in his four year spell with the Dons, Baird played in every position apart from full back and outside left. In one match against Dundee he took over in goal from the injured Fred Martin and saved a penalty from Doug Cowie.
Hugh moved on to Brechin in 1962 and he finished his career with Deveronvale and Rothes in the Highland league. Hugh settled in the Aberdeen area after retiring from the game. In 2006 he was awarded a belated Scottish cap when the SFA finally decided to award caps for all of the players who had played against foreign opposition in the past.
During his spell at Pittodrie, Hugh was leased a club flat at 15 Osborne Place in Aberdeen.