Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hails “incredible leader” Walter Smith in poignant tribute

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The Light Blues boss broke down in an interview after admitting Smith “made me a better person”

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard had paid an emotional tribute to Walter Smith by stating “he made me a better person”.

The Ibrox club are grieving the loss of one of their most successful managers of all time after news broke this morning of Smith’s passing aged 73 following a battle with illness.

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Smith acted as a mentor to Gerrard over the past three years and the Liverpool legend believes the best tribute his players can pay to their former manager would be a victory against Aberdeen on Wednesday night.

He told Rangers TV: “It’s still obviously very raw but it’s a very sad day for everyone connected to the club.

“Walter was an incredible leader, a very successful manager. He epitomised everything that this club stands for. His DNA is decorated all over the club and it’s very sad news.

“He’s been right behind me since day one. I had many lunches, dinners, coffees, chats, and spent a lot of private time with him in my office.

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“He’s obviously going to be a very big loss and a massive miss to a lot of people. He’s gave many, many years’ of service to this great football club, he loved Rangers.

“He was honest, genuine and has made me a better person. I’ve been one of the lucky ones to spend time with him, just like an awful lot of people who will have there own special memories of a great man.

“It’s going to be emotional over the coming days and weeks but the best tribute I and we as a team can do is be united, get the fans behind us and try and win the game for him tomorrow.

“That would be the best tribute we can give Walter and his family.”

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