Scottish football icon Walter Smith has passed away aged 73, it has been confirmed – and tributes to the former Rangers, Everton and Scotland manager have been pouring in from across football.
Smith is one of Scottish football’s most successful managers, winning a scarcely believable 21 major honours and leading Rangers to the 2008 UEFA Cup final – as well as guiding Scotland to a famous win over then-World Champions France.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 26, 2021
Walter began his playing career at Dumbarton, with two spells at Dundee United sandwiching his time at the Sons but it was in the dugout Smith really made his name.
Smith became coach of the Scotland under-18s in 1978 and the under-21s in 1982 before serving as assistant Sir Alex Ferguson at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Later that year, Smith would move to Rangers as Graeme Souness’ assistant, kicking off a legacy that will likely never be surpassed at Ibrox as he led the Gers to the most successful spell in their history.
That saw Smith win six titles as Rangers boss and take the Gers to within 90 minutes of the first Champions League final in 1992/93.
After leaving Rangers following 12 trophy-laden years, Smith moved south to take the reins at Everton before a brief stint at Old Trafford as Manchester United assistant under Ferguson.
In 2004, he would take charge of the Scotland team and, despite overseeing a rise of 70 places in the international rankings, they failed to reach the 2006 World Cup.
A little over two years later, Smith would return home to Ibrox winning three more league titles, two Scottish Cups, three Scottish League Cups and guiding Rangers to the last European final contested by a Scottish side before eventually retiring for good in 2011.
While he has been ill for a while, the death of Smith has hit Scottish football hard, with tributes pouring in from across the game this morning.
Here are some of the tributes paid to the former Rangers and Scotland manager after his passing was confirmed:
Everyone at St Johnstone's thoughts are with the friends and family of Walter Smith during this sad time.
Walter was a great manager for both club and country and will be a great loss to the game💙🤍 https://t.co/Q69uCckcyK
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) October 26, 2021
A really, really sad day. A Scottish football icon, of that there is no doubt. My thoughts and the condolences of everyone at Motherwell FC are with the entire Smith family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Walter. https://t.co/9v2POfyQDu
— Alan Burrows (@Alan_Burrows) October 26, 2021
It is with very deep sadness that we have learned of the passing of our former player Walter Smith.
After playing for Dumbarton, Walter became a legendary manager with Rangers, Everton and Scotland.
All of our thoughts are with Walter’s family and friends at this sad time. https://t.co/OfUp9V0lp1
— Dumbarton FC (@Dumbartonfc) October 26, 2021
Everyone at Kelty Hearts thoughts are with the family and friends of Walter Smith.
A very sad day for Scottish football, RIP Walter https://t.co/ydBwqABsVP
— Kelty Hearts Football Club (@KeltyHeartsFC) October 26, 2021
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Walter Smith at this sad time. https://t.co/CPhIGNbXw5
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) October 26, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the former Scotland national coach, and one of the most successful managers in Scottish football history, Walter Smith.
The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with his friends and family at this time. pic.twitter.com/CP2TzXLm51
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) October 26, 2021
Marina and my heartfelt sympathies are with Walter’s wife Ethel & his boys. Though we were on opposing sides on the pitch, he was a real footballing friend off of it. He was respected by all and one of the few able to transcend rivalries. Today we have lost a truly great man. RIP
— Sir Kenny Dalglish (😷 & 💉) (@kennethdalglish) October 26, 2021
The thoughts and condolences of all of us at the Premier League are with Walter's family and friends at such a difficult time.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 26, 2021
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