Rangers fans share Walter Smith memories as tributes are laid outside Ibrox Stadium

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Tributes have flooded in for one of Scottish football’s most successful managers

Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox Stadium on Tuesday to pay their respect to Walter Smith, who died yesterday aged 73 following a battle with illness.

Supporters laid flowers and tied scarfs, flags and banners to the gates outside the ground as they remembered an iconic figure of Scottish football.

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GlasgowWorld spoke to several supporters who were keen to share their standout memories of the Rangers great.

Craig, 22, stated: “One game in particular that stands out is the Fiorentina match that took Rangers to Manchester. I was just a young boy at the time but I remember watching the game, Nacho Novo scoring the winning penalty and the reaction around it all afterwards, it was phenomenal. It was such a brilliant occasion for the club and that was all down to Walter. He was such a legend of the club and you can see how much his passing has affected fans, the players and the staff.

“He was always highly thought of, not just a manager but as a human being. I know he became good pals with Tommy Burns and there was always that mutual respect between the two clubs. It’s really sad news. To wake up this morning to that news came as such a shock. Everyone knew he wasn’t well for some time but I will remember him as the greatest Rangers manager of all-time.”

Colin, 33, said: “I would say winning the league in seven minutes against Kilmarnock. I think that was his last trophy he won as manager of Rangers. The Fiorentina game also sticks out, when Novo scored the penalty that got us to the UEFA Cup Final. They would be my two favourite memories of Walter. He was the greatest manager of my era. If there was a word to describe him it would be a lot bigger than ‘legend’ because he was just unbelievable.”

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Hannah, 23, stated: “When I was growing up, Walter Smith was the first manager I looked up to. The most memorable occasion I can remember was when we beat Kilmarnock 5-1 on the final day of the season to win the league title.”

Jamie, 24, said: “There is two things that really stick out for me when thinking about Walter. The first one being when we won the league title in seven minutes at Kilmarnock - I’d never seen anything else quite like it. It turned a day that should have been filled with nerves into a massive party from the start. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a ticket for that game but I just remember the excitement with my dad and grandad.

“The second would be when I was at his last game at Ibrox against Dundee United and after the game he did a lap of honour round the pitch in the pouring rain as all the fans were singing after the final whistle. I was looking round everyone getting emotional and at the time I was young and never realised just how special he was. Looking back now, I can confidently say I’ll never see a manager as good as him at Rangers again.”

Colin, 58, said: “The one memory that sticks out to me was when Tommy Burns died. They became very good friends over the years during their time with the (Scotland) national team and Walter asked if he could be one of the pallbearers at Tommy’s funeral. That summed up the type of person he was. He was a brilliant individual and a proper gentleman. He will be sadly missed not just by Rangers fans but across Scottish football.”

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