Ally McCoist leads tributes to Walter Smith as Rangers supporters recall memories of the Scottish football legend
The Light Blues great has died at the of 73 following a battle with illness.
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Rangers supporters have cast their favourite memories of legendary manager Walter Smith, who passed away on Tuesday morning at the age of 73.
Smith won 21 trophies over two highly successful spells at Ibrox and former Light Blues striker Ally McCoist paid an emotional tribute to his mentor and “second father”.
Speaking on talkSPORT, McCoist said: “He means everything to a lot of folk.
“He was my boss, my coach, my second father and then turned into one of my best friends. The loss is absolutely incredible.
“The good thing is he’s not in pain. I went to see Walter recently, I spoke to him at the weekend and we knew that it would be a matter of time but it still doesn’t take away the pain and the grief.
“I could sit here and tell you about Walter Smith until the cows come home, but what I will say he was the best husband, father, friend, everything you want from a man.
“I can’t tell you how devastated I am.”
His death comes in the same year Rangers clinched their first Scottish Premiership title since Smith’s final season in charge in 2011.
Supporters have taken to fan forum pages to express their condolences and remember their favourite Walter Smith moments:
Br55mloanWATP: “There are so many to pick from. The sheer amount of joy Walter gave us all means that it’s difficult to choose just one. For me, it’s Florence.”
IbroxForever: “The night nine-in-a-row was secured. I was still at high school and will never forget celebrating all night and all day at school the next day.”
Thomsontackle: “His celebration after Miller’s winner against St Mirren in the 2010 League Cup Final. It was the first final that I attended as a fan and if there was ever a display that summed up Walter Smith’s Rangers career that was it. Down to nine men and he’s still managed to secure the famous a trophy.”
Harrogate Bluenose: “There are far too many occasions. Personal Walter ones include the Durrant slap and tearing into Chick Young. The 92/93 season was my most memorable on the park and the Aberdeen/Paul Gascoigne hat-trick to take the title from Aberdeen.”
ScouseHairline: “’Walter and Ally: They Came When Duty Called’. The nine man and a pigeon cup final. Only a Walter Smith Rangers side pulls that off. Just so many, still numb. We have lost a colossus.”
Coza: “He was just brilliant all round. A true great and the older he got the better he got at management. His second spell was incredibly impressive. I will never forget his lap of honour or slapping Durrant!”
Mussbear72: “Winning the league at Kilmarnock. First time watching Rangers life a trophy in person. Sat in the home end on my own at 15. Unknowingly surrounded by fellow fans, no celebration for the first goal, muted for the second and by the time the third went in everyone had given up on trying to blend in and started going mental. What a day. What a man.”
BlooBlood: “The sheer joy between him, McCoist and McDowell when Nacho Novo scored that penalty. This moment for me is one I will never forget. “
Laudrup97: “Slapping Durrant during an Old Firm game in the stands to get down and tell the players to get their finger out. This is what he was like, this is what I will miss dearly.”
Johnny Yen: “Manchester for me was one of the greatest days of my life. To see Rangers in a European Cup final was simply unreal, walking to the stadium and the realisation I was going to see my team in a European final was incredible. It was bordering on miraculous that we made the final with the team we had. That was down to Walter.”
Delboi: “So many... Old Firm wins, title wins, Florence, Chick Young interview, scudding Durrant, but the one that epitomises Walter’s Rangers to me was going down to nine men against St Mirren in the Cup final and winning 1-0.”
Blaew: “His celebration when Erik Bo Andersen scored the third against Celtic. Down the touchline and sharing a moment with a fan.”