Walter Smith dies at age 73; he had great success in two spells at Rangers and also managed Scotland and Everton.
Smith led the club to 10 top-flight titles, five Scottish Cups and six League Cups as well as to the UEFA Cup final in 2008 as Rangers manager in just two spells.
Rangers said on twitter: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our former manager, chairman and club legend, Walter Smith.”
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 26, 2021
“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,” Rangers chairman Douglas Park posted on the club’s website.
The Scottish FA said in a statement: “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.”
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
He was a former Dundee United and Dumbarton defender, Smith was appointed manager at Ibrox in 1991, succeeding Graeme Souness.
While at Ibrox, he won 13 major trophies in seven years, including seven league titles in succession, before leaving at the end of the 1997/98 season. He subsequently confirmed he was joining Everton after Rangers equaled Celtic’s record of nine successive championships in 1996-97 but a poor European start to the following campaign.
At the Goodison Park, where he stayed for four seasons, (2003-2004) before a brief spell as assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
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. 💙
— Everton (@Everton) October 26, 2021
Smith become manager in December 2004 after Berti Vogts departure from the Scotland national side. 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.
However, Smith returned to Rangers for a second spell in January 2007 and was able to replicate the glory of his first spell, which lead 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.
In 2013, he had a three-month spell as Ibrox chairman but he resigned the position after infighting within the boardroom.