Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Walter Smith former Rangers manager dies at age 73

 


Former Rangers, Everton and Scotland manager Walter Smith has died at the age of 73.

Smith achieved legendary status at Ibrox, with 21 trophies in two spells making him the second most successful Rangers boss ever behind Bill Struth

.

He won the latter seven titles of Rangers' nine-in-a-row run in the 1990s and returned to Ibrox in 2007.

Between those stints, he had four years at Everton and two with Scotland before being enticed back to the Glasgow club.

His second spell in charge delivered three more titles and a Uefa Cup final appearance, in 2008.

His death comes in the same year Rangers clinched their first top-flight title since Smith's final season in charge in 2011.

Posted with a picture of him and Smith on Instagram, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said: "Thank you for all your wisdom, support and friendship. You meant the world to everyone at Rangers."

In a club statement announcing the news, chairman Douglas Park added: "It is almost impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers.

"He embodied everything that a Ranger should be. His character and leadership was second to none, and will live long in the memory of everyone he worked with during his two terms as first team manager.

"I spoke with Walter as recently as last weekend. Even when he was battling illness, he was still able to provide advice and support. For that, I am personally grateful. I know that he continued also to maintain dialogue with senior members of staff, including our manager, Steven Gerrard.

"Walter will be sorely missed by all of us at Rangers. For Rangers supporters, he was much more than just a football manager. Walter was a friend to many, a leader, an ambassador and - most of all - a legend."

Ally McCoist, who played in Smith's 1990s Ibrox team and was later his assistant manager with Scotland and Rangers, told Talksport: "He was my boss, my coach, my second father and then turned into one of my best friends.

"The loss is absolutely incredible. He was the best husband, father, friend, everything you want from a man. I can't tell you how devastated I am."

Former Everton defender Alan Stubbs also paid tribute, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "Walter gave me the opportunity to fulfil my dream to sign for Everton and become captain."




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