Ex-Saint Chris Baird has announced his retirement from football after an 18-year career.

Baird, 36, joined Saints as a youth player in 1998 from Northern Irish side Ballymena Mena, before signing a professional contract at St Mary’s in 2001.

The defender made his debut in March 2003 against Aston Villa when he replaced David Prutton during the second half.

His best moment in a Saints shirt came when he started in the FA Cup Final in the same year against Arsenal.

Gordon Strachan’s side lost the match 1-0, but Baird was named as the club’s man of the match.

The 36-year-old couldn’t force his way into the Saints team in the 2003-04 season and ended up joining Walsall on loan, before having a spell at Watford.

Baird signed a new two-year deal at Saints in 2004 and went on to make a total of 68 appearances, scoring three goals.

He came runner-up behind Claus Lundekvam in the Daily Echo's player of the year competition on 2006.

Baird left Saints to join Fulham in 2007, where he spent six years, before eventually signing for Reading, Burnley, West Brom and Derby.