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  1. A doff of our hat to the greatest Ranger of the modern era.
    71 likes
  2. Could name the entire stadium after him as far as I'm concerned. That's how important he is to my generation.
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  4. This has hit me more than I ever thought it could. Rest easy gaffer and thank you for everything. A man I have never met somehow managed to be a huge part of my life.
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  5. Do you know what else brings me the slightest bit of comfort right now? Knowing that Smith watched us romp to a league with one of the best domestic league campaigns we have ever had. You have to imagine that despite all the pain he must have been in, that had to have brought him a degree of comfort and delight. How painful a memory would it have been for all of us knowing that one of the greatest ever Rangers’, the greatest Ranger for my money, spent his final few months watching that lot across the city achieving ten in a row, which is something Smith himself unfortunately didn’t manage to achieve. Losing him is heartbreaking and devastating, but Smith went out seeing us where he demanded we were every single minute of every single day that he was involved with this football club, on top as champions and the thought of that brings the slightest smile to my face on a very sad, depressing day.
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  6. Pep Guardiola: 'I am so very sad to hear the news of Walter Smith's passing. I was of course very aware of Walter's impressive management career before I came to the Premier League. Through his role as technical consultant for the LMA, I have had the opportunity over the past five years to get to know him and see what a humble, insightful and very genuine man he was. I always enjoyed spending time with Walter and we had been planning to have dinner together again. I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to get to know him and I send my deepest condolences to Walter's wife Ethel, his sons Neil and Steven, his grandchildren and all of his family who have lost a very special man'
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  7. I'm not sure how old you are or if you don't actually live in Scotland because these are the only two reasons why you should fail to understand what is going on. It is people like you and others of similar apathetic mindset who have allowed the situation we now find ourselves in. The other lot took command of the anti-Rangers, anti-PUL media and politics due to our side's apathy which was encouraged by SDM and his "turn the other cheek" mantra. Well that tactic failed us miserably. We should have more than learned the lesson from 2012 when they tried to destroy us and from 2014 when they refused to accept a democratic vote. We have an anti-UK administration which is not only utterly incompetent for the entire Scottish population but is also openly biased against our Club. The Scottish media has been overrun by left-wing, anti-British, anti-Rangers (so-called) journalism. We aren't offended by childish insults, we are offended by the fact that we are not judged to the same standards. We are pilloried by lies (Sweet Caroline in the dressing room) and for using the tune of 4 lads had a dream. Every minor transgression is magnified yet the other lot could commit all sorts of crimes and it barely gets a mention. As an example of anti-UK media bias, try and find an article on the BBC about a fairly large pro-UK march in Glasgow. today (Sat).
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  8. I normally just sit back and let the more outspoken guys on the forum do all the hard work and digest all of their points of view whether I agree with them or not. This is the fifth anniversary of my own dads passing and poignant though it always is, I feel and share the pain tonight from all of you guys mourning the passing of a Rangers giant in Walter. The guy oozed class and dignity and brought dad and my brothers so many happy memories during both of his tenures in charge at Ibrox. It is incredibly hard to let someone that you love leave this life but more important to treasure the memories that they leave behind. Walter has set the standards for everyone at Rangers to adhere and aspire to and can rest now that his battle is over. Dad was Rangers daft and it is very ironic and fitting that he now shares the same date of his passing with such a Rangers giant. Very best wishes to the Smith family and hopefully they can take comfort from the incredible reaction from the football world and beyond in recognising Walters achievements. Try and listen to David Edgar’s podcast as it is both heartfelt and poignant and dignified. The Rangers family has lost their father today as well as my family did on this day five years ago . Take care guys .
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  9. Can we drop any chat about what Aberdeen might do here please
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  10. I love him. He done Alot for my amateur football team. He sponsored us through his pub and would put on speakers nights etc free of charge which he would attend. His son Steven would come and train with us (wasn't much of a player he won't mind me saying) but he loved coming down to keep fit. You'd never know he was the son of the greatest Ranger. Just a nice guy like his father. They are genuinely an absolutely brilliant family and they've lost a husband, father and grandfather. Just can't put into words how gutted I am at this.
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  11. This is absolutely gutting. I'm sure most of us on here grew up with Walter as manager and it probably makes it hit home that wee bit harder than some of the older legends who have passed. Quite simply one of THE most important people in our club's history.
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  12. A very powerful photo from our football club….
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  13. DUFC fan in peace here, because of the issues between our clubs in last decade, it’s easy to forget there was once a great mutual respect between our clubs. In Walter we’ve both lost a massive figure of our respective clubs, his time at Rangers is rightly what he’ll be remembered by, but Walter also spent a significant portion of his life at Tannadice, he played almost his entire career here, and was Jim McLean’s assistant throughout the greatest period in United’s history, playing a massive part in taking us to our only league title, and the great European runs in the 80’s. It saddens me that both him and Jim, two of the greatest this country ever has, and ever will produce, have left us within less than a year of each other. I know Walter was saddened and disappointed by the feud between our clubs, the two clubs that played the most important part in his life, and it’s a shame he never got to see some sort of resolution before he went. My condolences to RFC, we’ve both lost a huge legend of our clubs’ history, and we share your grief at losing the great man. RIP Walter Smith 🧡🖤
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  14. Hopefully passed on some magic. Thank you Mr Rangers.
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  15. I've had a few drinks now and just want to say thanks to everyone on here for their reminiscences and kind words for Walter today. It made an awful day a little more bearable than it might have been. You're all a good lot and I'm proud to be a part of this support.
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  16. “You know, in football we have acquaintances, we don’t have friends." Everton's most successful ever captain uttered those words six years ago, at the funeral of his much loved team-mate, Andy King. But Kevin Ratcliffe was wrong. Because Walter Smith was my friend. Yes, a football manager, a contact, a man I'd chase for hours on end for updates on injuries, potential transfers - on one bizarre occasion the sale of his centre-forward without his knowledge - but most of all a mate. It is one of football's more endearing traits that I could consider a man I would often have to criticise and take to task in print, a pal. Because Walter Smith was a special man. He is a 24 carat footballing legend north of the border. His time at Goodison was riven with conflict and unsuccessful. But he never lost his sense of humour, his blunt but strangely endearing way with people and that beautiful twinkle in his eye. When news of his passing broke this morning I recalled my first ever meeting with him - hours after he'd been appointed manager of Everton Football Club. I'd loitered for several hours around the club's Bellefield training ground, waiting for my turn at an introduction when that was acceptable behaviour from a local club correspondent - and I finally bumped into him as he came striding out of the old canteen. I'll tone down the actual words used, because Walter was fond of little Anglo Saxon. A summary might have been: "Who are you and what on earth are you doing hanging around up here?" Then he welcomed me into his office, introduced me to his sidekick Archie and regaled me with an uproarious tale of how he'd just mistaken a peer of the realm, then board member Lord Grantchester, for a Bellefield groundsman. It always irked me that Walter preferred to present a stern, dour visage to the media - a legacy of his time dealing with the Glasgow goldfish bowl. Because he was a genuinely funny man. Paul Joyce, the Times' Northern football correspondent, and myself formed a close working bond with him which developed into a friendship which was never broken. Walter would regularly reduce himself to tears of laughter telling me "Joycie's been in trying to read things on my desk again. So I've planted something there which will get him excited! I hope he writes it!" And don't think Joycie ever fell for his plants, but that never stopped Walter trying. We shared many meals, many evenings out and several pre-season tours together. The summers spent at Il Ciocco training complex in Tuscany were legendary. He was a football manager and a contact. My most important contact. But he was a friend. And I never felt compromised saying that. I've written before about the night his centre-forward was sold to Newcastle. But the story bears repetition. "Content after a hard fought 1-0 win, Walter, his assistant Archie Knox and their respective wives Ethel and Janice were descending the stairs at Goodison when they bumped into Duncan coming back up. "The big man murmured: 'I thought you might have stuck up for me gaffer.' "Puzzled, Walter replied: 'Stuck up for you, how?' 'With the move. I’ve been sold to Newcastle.' "Walter, capable of incendiary explosions at the merest trifle, was admirably restrained. " 'What are you talking about? Have you signed anything?' he said. " 'Well no, gaffer. But I’ve shaken hands on a financial package.' “ 'Well sign nothing. I need to speak to Jinky (Walter's pet name for chairman Peter Johnson).' ” "First, though, Walter needed to confer with his trusted aide. "He and Archie trooped down to the referees’ room in the tunnel – long since vacated – followed by their wives, and started to discuss the shock news. “What do we do about this then?” Walter asked. "Archie, for once, was stuck for an answer and Mrs Knox took the opportunity of the pause in the conversation to offer her own take on proceedings. “Well, Walter. Ethel and I have been listening to the fans in the lounges tonight and if you have got £8million for Duncan Ferguson it sounds like a good deal.” "Archie had rediscovered his tongue. And how. “Janice. Shut the f*** up,” he snapped. Ethel jumped in: “Archie, you can’t talk to Janice like that.” And the meeting was postponed." Cancer claimed Janice in 2006, after a brave and protracted battle with cancer. They were married 38 years. Now Archie's long-time professional companion has gone. I feel for Archie. Whatever emotions I'm experiencing will be magnified a thousand times by his trusted aide - and friend. Frank McAvennie was another friend. And he summed up Walter's character beautifully today in a tweet. "If you met Walter you liked him simple as that." I still have a message on my phone from Walter. It's the last time we exchanged words on the morning of the last Merseyside derby match. He wrote: "It's A Grand Old Team!!! Using Celtic song to headline your book. Poor choice." I replied by telling him his message was an omen. It was Anfield derby day and he had been the last Everton manager to experience victory there, 21 years earlier. Several hours later goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson made good on the omen. He was delighted his claim on a small slice of Everton history had finally been passed on. Almost 20 years after his time as Everton boss had ended he was still thinking about the Blues. I'll always think about Walter Smith. A legendary football manager. But more importantly a lovely, dignified, beautiful human being. Rest in peace mate.
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  17. I think the best testament to Walter Smith should be that he went undefeated against a Champions' League-winning Marseille team absolutely off their tits on performance enhancing drugs, bribing refs left right and centre, and did it with a team of high functioning alcoholics.
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  18. I’m a 64 year old grandfather in tears at the death of a man I never met. Never worked with him, never had a beer with him, no family connection. Yet the tears are running down my cheeks as if he was my dad or my uncle. Thats what this club means to me and what it meant to him. God Bless You, Wattie - you gave us so much, we should be grateful forever that you were born a bluenose.
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  19. He’ll have received racist/Homophobic/ Sectarian abuse by 4pm today..
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  20. 247980029_1495835104126373_4935758372491120053_n.mp4
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  21. The next few days are going to be hard. So very hard. The initial shock of this news has been utterly devasting but it’s only going to hit home even more when we start seeing football people like Graeme Souness, Archie Knox, Richard Gough, Ian Durrant, Sir Alex Ferguson & Ally McCoist speak publicly and share their memories of a man who they were all very close to. There is going to be a lot of media attention around our club and although this seems like such a minor and insignificant point to make in the grand scheme of things, I’m so glad that we have Steven Gerrard at the club as the manager right now and not some hack like Mark Warburton or Pedro Caixinha. We are a club and a support that is grieving and knowing that our current manager, and the man who is very much going to be the public facing face of our grief, is a man who is very much cut from the same cloth as Smith - steadfast, passionate, dignified - actually provides me with a degree of comfort during the worst possible time.
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  22. Great piece by Tom English to be fair. Even now, seven or eight years later, the look on Stuart McCall's face is as vivid as it was when the bombshell descended that day in the radio studio by the Clyde. McCall was speaking about the anniversary of one of the finest days for his Rangers team under the management of Walter Smith, one of many such days. He was going through the gears in how much he rated and loved his old mentor. "Sir Walter was the most inspirational person I ever played for," began the former Ibrox midfielder before delivering a powerful and, at times, moving speech about what "Sir Walter" had done for him. It was cracking stuff, a real insight into what made Smith so special. "That was brilliant, Stuart," said the host once the show ended. "But you do know that he hasn't been knighted…" "Sir Walter?" replied a bemused McCall. "Yes, he's not been knighted." There was a momentary pause. After registering his outrage that the gong had never gone the way of his ex-boss, he threw his hands to the heavens at the injustice of it all and said: "Well, he'll always be Sir Walter to me." Tuesday was a profoundly sad day for the Smith family and for all those footballers and friends the great man influenced in an epic life in the game. There was a vast scale to the eulogies. Big name after big name after big name. Those were the lucky ones, the ones who knew him, who played for him, who managed with or against him, who got to spend time with him and learn from him. If you were in that group then you were truly fortunate. Others only have snapshots. It can be cringemaking when people on the periphery insert themselves into the narrative of a tragic loss like this by recounting their own tales from yesteryear that show what a tremendous person X or Y was (tales that are really a self aggrandisement dressed up as tribute). We run that risk here, but it's a story we'll tell none the less. In early 1993, this writer was in his early months in Glasgow, an alien city in an alien country; early 20s and unfamiliar in the ways of Scottish football. Perhaps he saw the vaguely bewildered look, but Smith showed a kindness that was appreciated then and is still appreciated now. He talked warmly for half an hour in his office at the top of the stairs at Ibrox. Even in my naive state it was obvious this was unusual and special. "If you want an interview with anybody then fax the club on a Tuesday and I'll make sure it happens." I did - and it happened. Again and again. It was a very big deal. He had no need to help. Nothing that I wrote would have registered with him or mattered in any sense, but he did it anyway. If that's a self-indulgent story, then apologies, but I've always that felt it was a glimpse not of the football man, but of the man, the thoughtful character those closest to him would have known and loved. That decency was one side of him, the personal side. Of course, there was another side, that of the operator. At a media conference weeks later, he walked into the room and confronted some poor misfortune whose newspaper columns had annoyed him. A senior writer. Actually, it was a friend of his. "You've been writing some amount of shite lately…" On his way out of this verbal evisceration there was a definite trace of a smile on the manager's face. I'd wondered why everybody - even the most gnarled pros in the writing game - seemed to sit up straight when Smith appeared. Now I knew. 'If we name a stand after him, he'll always be with us' This was one formidable manager, not just in the way he coached footballers but in the way he dealt with journalists. Respectful, insightful, funny and kind with his time - but when the mood struck, boy, was he tough. If there was a world staring championships, Walter Smith would not have been stopped at nine-in-a-row. His connection with Rangers was life-long, since his days as a schoolkid going along to matches with his grandfather. There's a story about him breaking his leg in a game when he was 14. His father wrote to the club and asked for permission for young Walter to sit pitchside so he could stretch out his wounded limb. The written reply from then manager Scot Symon stayed in the family until the letter was donated to the club. Sympathy was expressed and support offered, but the answer, in short, was no. The snub never put him off. He was, from top to toe, a Rangers man, steeped in its history. But he meant other things to other people, too. He was a Dundee United player for 14 years. He made almost 200 appearances, some under Jerry Kerr, some under Jim McLean. He did his coaching badges at 25. He was assistant to McLean until 1986 (a 20-year contribution, give or take) when Rangers came calling. He was only 38 at the time. His death comes just 10 months after McLean's passing. The Scottish football team in the sky is not struggling for geniuses to lead it. What's been telling in the tributes is the affection in which Smith was held throughout British football. His spell at Everton was a largely turbulent one, played out against a backdrop of money troubles, questionable governance at the top of the club, and a fanbase living in fear of the drop. And yet those seasons of constant struggle have done little to reduce Smith in the eyes of the Goodison fans who knew what he was up against. Some of the journalists on the beat in Liverpool, like their counterparts in Glasgow, have been practically in tears since the news broke. They remember a man who rose above a boardroom decision to sell Duncan Ferguson behind his back in his first season. "I thought long and hard about leaving many times," Smith once said. "Day after day I reviewed my position and asked myself if there was any future for me." They remember the mess the club was in and the lengths that Smith went to in order to wrestle it back up the table. They also remember his mischievous humour in the face of such tumult. The strength of his team was poor across 143 Premier League games, but the strength of his character never lessened, not even after he got the sack. He spent some months at Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant. That was from March 2004. Darren Fletcher credits Smith with starting the process that turned Cristiano Ronaldo from a showboating circus act into one of the game's greatest ever footballers. Smith went on to manage Scotland in the wake of the farrago that was Berti Vogts' tenure. It was a depressed landscape. You'd have needed a telescope to pick out any sign of life, but when he left the job to go back to Rangers he'd stabilised things and improved performances. Scotland beat World Cup finalists France on his watch. A minor footballing miracle. The lure of Rangers was always going to be too much for him, though. Winning those early titles alongside Graeme Souness was one thing, but he came into his own when taking on the manager's job and bringing Rangers to another level. At one point, before foreign investment started to crash into English football with a vengeance, Rangers were the best team in Britain and, briefly, one of the best in Europe. For all that, you could easily argue that it was Smith's second spell as manager from 2007 that showed his genius in greater clarity. His nine-in-a-row teams were expensively put together and had class in all corners. The one he inherited second time around wasn't even in the same ballpark - and the financial climate was totally different. The distress flares were visible on the finance front when he returned. The big-money signings had dried up. The squad depth became shallow. The stress factor increased. In making it all the way to the Uefa Cup final in 2008 and then winning the league in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Smith showed he didn't need riches to get the job done. His pragmatism and intelligence allowed him to construct a formidable unit even with the gathering sound of financial chaos in the background. He never allowed himself to get distracted by a turmoil he knew was inevitable. What is that if not great leadership, brilliance under fire. He returned again when the club was at a new low, this time as chairman under the wretched reign of Charles Green. It was an ill-advised move and one he came to regret quite quickly. You could see why he did it, though. Angry at what become of his club under Craig Whyte and fearful of what might happen under Green, he re-entered the fray in a role he was totally unsuited to. He did it out of concern. Nobody in the Rangers support would have been happier to see the club win the league last season. He bore some scars from getting them back to where he felt they belonged. On a rainy Tuesday night in May 2011, Rangers beat Dundee United, the club that had such a profound impact on his coaching, in the penultimate game of the league season. It was Smith's last game as manager in his spiritual home. When club officials asked him to go back out after the game was over to take the acclaim of the supporters he was initially reticent. "I was worried everyone may have gone home as it was such a bad night weather-wise," he said. Those images are unforgettable, the lights and the incessant downpour making it all the more poignant. As he walked and waved, 50,000 people in the stadium got to their feet to applaud him. And they're applauding still.
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  23. I've hidden a few posts. There are other threads for different discussions. But as for this one I'd like to keep this thread as a tribute to Walter, sharing stories and remembering how much of a hero he was to us all.
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  24. This is a bit sad but Wim Jansen has dementia. After all me and my family are gooing through with my gran, I would not wish this on anyone regardless of what team they are connected to.
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  25. I’ve lost track so sorry if already posted, Boydy
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  26. I'm just glad he got to see us back at the top before he went. Literally sitting here feeling numb not getting any work done. Grim RIP legend
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  27. The Greatest Ranger Of All Time.
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  28. If I was this guy I'd be a wreck right now.
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  29. Its been an emotional day and the best place for me tonight was at a regular Tuesday night meeting in Stapleford. A few of the guys there gave me a hug and offered their condolences and nearly had me in tears again. I was able to talk openly and freely about what Walter meant to me tonight.
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  30. Probably already been posted, but Hamburg are good guys
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  31. Don't think a truer word will be said.
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  32. Even with Waddell and Wallace being the men behind Barcelona 72, Smith stands above, shoulder to shoulder with Struth, in our Club’s history. Statues have lost their value outside some football stadiums across the world but I think I speak for everyone in saying that Walter Smith absolutely deserves one the opposite side of the main stand from Greig. Fucksake man.
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  33. Just heard some of the most poignant words from Chic Young.
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  34. Despite all the years of turmoil this Club has faced, losing Walter will be the biggest and sorest for decades. As others have said, he is Rangers Football Club.
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  35. Think we all accept Morelos could be doing better but there’s fans that actually hate him. Fucking embarrassments
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  36. It's deeply concerning there are a number of prominent journalists who are unashamedly willing to condemn those abusing people like Griffiths, and in the past the likes of Thomson, Rix etc yet are seemingly unwilling to condemn the abhorrent behaviour of the likes of Griffiths! Even now you will still have journalists championing Griffiths for a Scotland return as he guarantees goals apparently! These guys are the worst of the worst. They don't get any lower. Then these same journalists will regularly stick the knife into many other players, for no reason at all, particularly Morelos. The Keith Jackson article still blows my mind.
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