Our Celtic Family remembers Walter Smith for this above all else. Many he rest in peace

The terribly sad news this morning is that former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith has passed away. The Ibrox club has now confirmed the sad news on their media channels and at this sad time the thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtic family will be with Walter’s family.

Walter Smith the Scotland manager shares a joke with assistant Tommy Burns during the group 5 World Cup 2006 Qualifier between Norway and Scotland held at the Ullevaal Stadium on September 7, 2005 Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

There can be no doubt that Walter Smith was a outstanding manager for Rangers, indeed hindsight tells you that he was far better than Graeme Souness who left Ibrox to take over at Liverpool, without much success it should be noted. Smith benefited from managing Rangers when Celtic’s internal troubles meant that we were unable to offer much in terms of title challenges for many years and it took an overthrow of the old board, the arrival of Fergus McCann, a brilliant team – often hammered by honest mistakes – under Tommy Burns coming close but ultimately failing – and then finally the arrival of Wim Jansen to stop Walter Smith reaching Ten in a Row.

: Walter Smith (R) and Ally McCoist of Rangers, carry a wreath as they pay tribute at Celtic Park, to Celtic and Scotland legend, Tommy Burns. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 16: Walter Smith (4th L), Ally McCoist (5th L) and Kenny McDowell (3rd L) of Rangers, pay tribute at Celtic Park, to Celtic and Scotland legend, Tommy Burns. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Earlier this year Neil Lennon tried and failed to achieve that and before Walter Smith’s attempt in 1997-98 season Jock Stein had also failed to reach that target, which really only is about bragging rights in a city obsessed with football. No-one else in the wider footballing world really cares.

Walter Smith realised just how impressive Tommy Burns was during their time in opposing dug-outs at this drama was all unfolding and had no hesitation in bringing the Celtic legend into his staff when he took over the Scotland job. The two former managers worked alongside Ally McCoist who was later the assistant to Smith when he returned to Ibrox to manager Rangers for a second stint and McCoist was also the first manager of the successor club after Rangers was liquidated in 2012.

 (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Smith and McCoist set aside their rivalry to work with Tommy Burns and all three became great friends, no doubt indulging in banter as the results went in favour of one team or the other. When Tommy passed away both Rangers men where there and were pallbearers at Tommy’s funeral.

This more than anything else is what many Celtic Fans will remember Walter Smith for. Many he rest in peace.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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