Walter Smith dead at 73: Tributes paid to Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Man Utd and Scotland and Rangers legend

FORMER Manchester United assistant manager and Scotland and Rangers legend Walter Smith has died aged 73.

The former Scotland boss was a close friend of Sir Alex Ferguson and worked along side him during the 2000s at United.

Tributes have been paid to the much-loved manager, who led Rangers to ten league titles over two spells as boss.

He was Scotland manager for three years from 2004 until 2007.

And he had a brief stint at United, before taking the national team job.

Smith was also in charge of Premier League side Everton between 1998 and 2022.

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

And Chairman, Douglas Park commented: "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.

"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.

"Winning 10 top-flight titles as manager, five Scottish Cups and six League Cups, as well as leading his club to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, he will be remembered by the football community across the world.

"His spells as Scotland manager as well as managing in the English Premier League underlined his credentials as one of the great modern day football managers.

"However, 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."

Meanwhile, hundreds of former and current players and managers paid their condolences to his friends and family.

QPR boss Mark Warburton said: "Devastating news to hear of the sad passing of Walter Smith.

"A man who was always on hand to help with advice and support. My thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult time."

The Scottish FA posted on Twitter: "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."

Smith won seven Scottish titles in a row towards the clubs historic run of ten consecutive league wins.


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