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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Chris Baird calls time on Northern Ireland career

Published 17/08/2016 | 13:26

Northern Ireland's Chris Baird made his international debut in 2003
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird made his international debut in 2003

Northern Ireland defender Chris Baird has called time on his international career after winning 79 caps.

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The 34-year-old, who was a member of the Euro 2016 squad, ends a 13-year stint with his country in order to focus on his club career with Derby.

Baird made his debut against Italy in 2003 and ended it against Poland in this summer's Euros.

He told the Irish Football Association website: " It was a tough decision because I have enjoyed every single minute that I have played for Northern Ireland.

"I discussed it with my family and as I am not getting any younger I felt it was the right thing to do at this stage.

"Qualification for Euro 2016 was the icing on the cake for my international career, but I have so many fantastic memories, like the win over England and beating Spain."

Boss Michael O'Neill added: "Chris has been an absolute rock for me in the four years that I have been in charge.

"His defensive qualities, his reading of the game and his experience have been invaluable."

Baird has featured once for the Rams so far this season.

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