“Walter Smith talked eloquently about players and the game that he obviously loved with a passion,” David Potter

The Celtic community was sad to learn today of the passing of Walter Smith, ex-Manager of Rangers, Everton and Scotland. No one will pretend that he was a much loved character in our community but he did earn our respect for his achievements, not least for the time that he and Ally McCoist attended the funeral of Tommy Burns in 2008 in a Roman Catholic Church.

That would not have been easy for them, and no doubt he was castigated by his own lunatic fringe for so doing, but it was a gesture that earned him the admiration of the wider footballing circles.

He started his footballing career in the tough school of Jim McLean’s Dundee United, earning a loser’s medal in the Scottish Cup final of 1974, won 0-3 by Celtic. Like many men who became great managers, he was never himself a great or gifted player, but his knowledge of the game was superb, and his record for Rangers speaks for himself.

I once recall talking to him at a game at Raith Rovers when he was there as a spectator in the brief time that he was Manager of Scotland, and after a slightly gruff start, he mellowed and talked eloquently about players and the game that he obviously loved with a passion.

He was a great footballing man, and although clearly on the other side of the divide from us, that does not prevent us from expressing our sympathy for the passing of one of the giants of the Scottish game.

RIP Walter Smith.

David Potter

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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