Northern Ireland news

Tributes to Rangers 'legend' Walter Smith following death at 73

Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has died aged 73.
Paul Ainsworth

FORMER Rangers FC manager Walter Smith has been described as an ambassador and "legend" for fans following his death aged 73.

The Lanark-born ex-Dundee United player managed Rangers for two spells, during which he led the Glasgow team to win 21 trophies.

Smith helped the Ibrox-based club to win seven of their nine-in-a-row Scottish national league championship titles during the 1990s, before he left to manage English side Everton.

He spent three years as manager of the Scotland national team from 2004 to 2007 before returning to Ibrox for a four-year spell, during which he led the side to three further league titles and a Euefa Cup campaign that saw Rangers make it to the final in 2008.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park said: "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.

He added: "Walter will be sorely missed by all of us at Rangers. 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."

Current team manager Steven Gerrard also paid tribute in a social media post today, in which he wrote of Walter: "Thank you for all your wisdom, support and friendship. You meant the world to everyone at Rangers."

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