Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has died aged 73
Tributes have come flooding in from the world of football following the death of one of the game’s much loved characters Walter Smith.
The former Everton and Scotland manager had a long and trophy laden career in football - and was best known for his time in charge at Rangers.
Smith, who died from illness aged 73, managed Rangers from 1991 to 1998 and again between 2007 and 2011.
He has ten Scottish titles, five Scottish Cups, six League Cups and one UEFA Cup final to his name.
Former Scottish striker and current TalkSport host Ally McCoist has led the tributes as the world of Scottish football mourns the loss of one of its most successful managers.
What did Ally McCoist say about Walter Smith?
McCoist worked with Smith most notably during Smith’s second stint at Rangers when McCoist was brought in as an assistant coach.
As a player, McCoist was at Rangers from 1983 until 1998, leaving the same year as his manager, Smith, and then came back to assist Smith as manager in 2007.
When Smith left in 2011, McCoist was announced as the new manager, a role which he kept until 2015.
Speaking on TalkSport, McCoist has described Smith as his “second father” saying “he was 100% honest and fair” and the “most genuine of men.”
“He had an absolutely wicked sense of humour and was just brilliant to be around,” he said.
Having spent time with Smith at Rangers as both a player and assistant manager as well as in Scotland’s national youth team, McCoist said he had “just wonderful, wonderful memories”.
“He was the greatest manager of all time in (Rangers’) history,” said McCoist.
McCoist ended his tribute to his friend by reminding the world of the immense family loss Smith’s wife, children and grandchildren will be feeling.
“It’s a tragedy today. I can’t tell you how devastated I am. Absolutely devastated.
“The history books will tell us how good Walter was as a manager and a coach, but I’ll tell you right now, what a friend, what a pal, what a boss, what a husband, what a grandfather. That’s the message that this morning we should all be thinking about,” added McCoist.
Who else has paid tribute to Walter Smith?
Rangers released a statement on their website announcing the death of their former manager.
“It is almost impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers. He embodied everything a Ranger should be. His character and leadership was second to non, and will live long in the memory of everyone he worked with during his two terms as first team manager.”
Rangers’ fiercest rivals, Celtic, have expressed their condolences following the death of Walter Smith.
In a tweet, Celtic said: “Celtic Football Club has expressed its deepest sympathies following the sad news that former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith has passed away after battling illness so bravely.
“Walter was a tremendous servant to Scottish football for so many years and during his time as manager of the Scotland national side, he forged a close friendship with Celtic legend, Tommy Burns.
“Everyone at Celtic sends their heartfelt condolences.”
Everton football club, where Smith was manager for four years in between his time at Rangers have also paid tribute.
The club tweeted: “A very sad day for football. Walter Smith OBE, former Rangers, Scotland and Everton manager, has passed away. A Man held in high regard by all his players. Our thoughts are with Walter’s loved ones at this tough time.”
Andy Robertson, Scotland’s current captain has also sent out his condolences following the news.
The Scotland and Liverpool player tweeted: “Thoughts, prayers and condolences with Walter Smith’s family and loved ones today. Heartbreaking to lose another great of Scottish football. A man of wisdom, dignity and integrity whose legacy will live on. May he rest in peace.”
The family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this difficult and tragic time.
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