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.
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.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has paid tribute to former Rangers boss Walter Smith who has passed away aged 73. pic.twitter.com/cPKyVRspSF
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) October 26, 2021
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.
RIP Walter Smith.. a Dhia déan trócaire ar a anam pic.twitter.com/oe5AcTv5Ar
— Éire Go Brách CSC (@EireGoBrachCSC) October 26, 2021
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.
Scottish football has lost a great character but before anyone comments, children have lost a father, grandfather and much more. RIP Walter Smith 💚💙 I’ll never forget how he carried Tommy Burns. pic.twitter.com/T9PQ1jdvHn
— Paul Gallagher (@PaulGall67) October 26, 2021
This more than anything else is what many Celtic Fans will remember Walter Smith for. Many he rest in peace.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 26, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the former Scotland national coach, and one of the most successful managers in Scottish football history, Walter Smith.
The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with his friends and family at this time. pic.twitter.com/CP2TzXLm51
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) October 26, 2021
— stephen.mcgowan (@mcgowan_stephen) October 26, 2021
A club rival no doubt, but also a dignified and respected football icon. Thoughts go out to his family, friends and blue half of the city 🏴 https://t.co/TKl2KoqUPj
— Totti O’Ceallaigh 🇮🇪 🇵🇸 (@ManandBhoy) October 26, 2021
Everyone at St Johnstone’s thoughts are with the friends and family of Walter Smith during this sad time.
Walter was a great manager for both club and country and will be a great loss to the game💙🤍 https://t.co/Q69uCckcyK
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) October 26, 2021
RIP Walter Smith.. Walter and wife Ethel used to attend my Charity Ball every year and was a great fun .. thoughts are with Ethel and the Smith family and friends 🙏🏻
— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) October 26, 2021
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) October 26, 2021
Celtic Football Club expresses its deepest sympathies following the sad news that former Rangers and Scotland Manager, Walter Smith, has passed away.
Walter was a tremendous servant to Scottish football and everyone at #CelticFC sends their heartfelt condolences.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 26, 2021