Home » Walter Smith: Footballing great and former Manchester United man passes away

Walter Smith: Footballing great and former Manchester United man passes away

by Harry Henshaw

Scottish football legend, Walter Smith, has sadly passed away at the age of 73.

Smith is best known for his time at Rangers, where he wrote his name firmly in the history books with a staggering 21 trophies across two spells.

His first spell (from 1991-1998) saw him deliver seven league titles in a row as he established Rangers as the dominant force of Scottish football in the ’90s.

Upon Leaving the Ibrox club he enjoyed spells with Everton (1998-2002) and the Scottish National team (2004-2007).

Sandwiched in between the two was a spell as assistant to old friend Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Smith had previously worked with Ferguson with the Scottish national team two decades earlier and despite only spending a short time at Old Trafford, left a big impression.

Sir Alex led the tributes to his former colleague and lifelong friend:

“He was only at United a short time, but he was fantastic. I lost Carlos Queiroz to Real Madrid, and I knew I needed an assistant, so I phoned Walter about it and he came for six months and helped us win the FA Cup against Millwall.

“He had a wonderful connection with people because he was a great listener, that was one of his greatest qualities.

“He listened and showed an interest in people and helped everyone he could. It’s such a loss to the game and to everyone that knew him. I send my sincere condolences to his wife Ethel and his two sons Neil and Steven. I’ll miss him greatly.”

His stint at Old Trafford saw him help the side win the 2004 FA Cup against Millwall and he was also the key catalyst behind the signing of Wayne Rooney, who would go on to become United’s all-time record goalscorer.

Smith ended his glittering career back at his spiritual home, Rangers, where between 2007 and 2011 he would deliver another eight trophies as well as a UEFA Cup final appearance in 2008.

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