Former Dundee man John Baird is set to head Down Under for a new life in Australia after his third spell at Raith Rovers.
But he reckons his “dream” cup final-winning goal against Rangers means a little bit of Scottish football will go with him.
The 34-year-old is leaving Scotland with his family later this month to set up home in Western Australia, where he will coach in a soccer academy and play for semi-professional side Mandurah City south of Perth.
The former St Mirren, Forfar, Falkirk and Dark Blues striker confesses to some apprehension about leaving his wider family and friends behind, especially given the current coronavirus restrictions that make proper goodbyes difficult.
But the Glaswegian says he can feel satisfied calling time on his 18-year career.
And he knows memories of his most-celebrated moment on the pitch – his extra-time winner against the Light Blues in the 2014 Ramsdens Cup final – mean he will never be far from his homeland.
Baird, who has trained as a painter and decorator since spending time in Oz last year preparing for his emigration, said: “It’s scary, a bit daunting, but it’s exciting
“I’m a lucky, lucky boy. Since I left school, I’ve been able to play football, which regardless of what level, I’ve not ‘worked’ a day in my life, until I did my adult apprenticeship.
“And Raith Rovers have given me the best memories I’ve had at a football club.
“I can’t go anywhere in the world – I was in Australia there in Melbourne for four months – without someone mentioning Raith Rovers to me about the goal.
“I got to live my dream by scoring against Rangers as a Celtic supporter in a cup final in extra-time.
“But it was because of Raith Rovers I could do that, so that connection with Raith Rovers will always be there.
“You play from when you’re five, six, seven years old and you watch Scottish Cup finals on the telly.
“And I’ve had the opportunity, because of this football club, to [play in a cup final].
“So, when I finish, there’s something to be remembered for.
“I’m a painter now and you want people to say, ‘Get John Baird, he’s a good painter’. You want to leave a mark, whatever you’re involved in.
“And to be able to do that with football is quite emotional.”