Former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith dies aged 73

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Rangers FC chairman Douglas Park paid tribute to the Ibrox legend in a statement released on Tuesday morning

Rangers legend Walter Smith, one of Scottish football’s greatest ever managers, has died at the age of 73.

The Light Blues great won a sensational 21 trophies over two separate spells at Ibrox, making him the second most successful Gers manager ever behind Bill Struth.

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Smith turned out for Dundee United over two spells, Dallas Tornado and Dumbarton before a serious pelvic injury curtailed his playing career in 1977 at the age of just 29.

He would go on to work under a fellow Scottish managerial heavyweight icon in Jim McLean at Dundee United and assisted Aberdeen legend Sir Alex Ferguson at the 1986 World Cup, following the passing of Jock Stein.

He returned to the club scene as No.2 to Graeme Souness at Rangers before embarking on a seven-year spell in charge where he lifted 13 major trophies.

A four-year stint at English Premier League side Everton followed between 1998 and 2000, before reuniting with Alex Ferguson as assistant at Manchester United.

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Smith took the Scotland job in 2004 and led the nation to famous back-to-back Euro 2008 qualifying victories over giants France before returning to Rangers for a second spell.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, chairman Douglas Park said: “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 impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers.

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“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 to 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, Steven Gerrard.

“Walter will be sorely missed by all of us at Rangers.

“Winning ten top-flight titles as manager, five Scottish Cup 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.

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“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.”

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