Walter Smith: Former Rangers, Everton and Scotland manager dies aged 73

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  • Walter Smith
    Scottish soccer player and manager (1948-2021)
  • Graeme Souness
    Scottish association football player and manager (born 1953)

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

Smith had great success with Rangers over two spells while also taking charge of the Scotland national side and spent four years in the Premier League with Everton.

His playing career saw him play for Dundee United in two spells either side of two seasons at Dumbarton.

Smith became coach of the Scotland under-18s in 1978 and the under-21s in 1982.

He was also Alex Ferguson's assistant at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico before becoming assistant to Graeme Souness at Rangers later that summer.

With Souness operating as a player-manager at Ibrox, Smith was the senior coaching presence on the touchline and was given the job on a full-time basis when Souness moved to manage Liverpool in 1991.

Rangers said: "It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our former manager, chairman and club legend, Walter Smith."

Rangers chairman Douglas Park added on the club's website: "On behalf of the Rangers board of directors, staff and players, I convey my deep condolences to the Smith family.

"Walter leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren, all of whom are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

"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."

Liverpool player and Scotland captain Andy Robertson 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."

Smith won 13 major trophies in seven years at Ibrox, including seven league titles in succession, before leaving at the end of the 1997/98 season and subsequently joining Everton.

He stayed at Goodison Park for four seasons before a brief stint as assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Berti Vogt's departure from the Scotland national side paved the way for Smith to become manager in December 2004.

Despite overseeing a rise for Scotland of 70 places in the international rankings, they failed to reach the World Cup Finals in 2006 after a home defeat to Belarus.

Smith returned to Rangers for a second spell in January 2007 and was able to replicate the glory of his first spell, leading the club to three more league titles, two Scottish Cups, three Scottish League Cups and a UEFA Cup final, which they lost 2-0 to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

He retired in 2011 after completing another domestic double.

He had a three-month spell as Ibrox chairman in 2013 but resigned the position after infighting within the boardroom.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Very sad to hear of the death of former Rangers and Scotland manager, Walter Smith - he was a true football great.

"My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues across the world of football."

The Scottish Football Association tweeted: "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."

Former Everton player Kevin Campbell tweeted a photo showing him with Smith and wrote: "R.I.P. Walter Smith you were such a great man and I can't thank you enough for bringing me to @Everton a true football great."

St Mirren, West Ham and Celtic striker Frank McAvennie tweeted: "Sad news this morning, Walter Smith has passed away and will be missed by so many people, (if you met Walter you liked him simple as that) RIP mate, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

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