Rangers | Walter Smith OBE
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Walter Smith OBE

D.O.B.

24.2.1948

Birthplace

Lanark, Scotland

Height

5 ft 11

Nickname

The Gaffer, Silver Smith

Position

Former Manager

Signed

5 Jan 2007

Former Clubs

Rangers, Everton

International

Former Scotland manager

Pen Pic

Walter Smith is a Rangers legend. He is without doubt one of the most successful Rangers managers of all time.

He brought nine league championships in a row to Rangers (the first two seasons, and most of the third season as assistant manager). Smith left Rangers when he failed to secure ten in a row but returned on 5 January 2007 to turn round the fortunes of his beloved team.

Born in Lanark in 1948, Smith started his footballing career off at Dundee United in 1966 where he stayed for nine years before moving to Dumbarton. He then returned to Dundee United to finish off his career in 1977. He retired in 1980.

His playing career was very average, it was to be as a manager that he would really excel. Before joining Jim McLean's coaching staff at United, Smith made 250 senior appearances scoring only three goals.

As a coach at Dundee United, Smith learned from one of the best under Jim McLean. Smith went on to coach for Scotland at all levels whilst with Dundee United. He was assistant coach of the under 18 team who won the European Youth Championship in 1982. He then became the coach of the under 21 team before becoming Alex Ferguson's assistant for the full Scottish team in the 1986 World Cup.

He finally joined the team he supported all his life, Rangers FC, when new Rangers manager Graeme Souness approached him to be his assistant at Ibrox. Smith would play an important role at the club, managing from the sidelines as Souness in his role as player manager was often on the pitch.

After being part of the management team who brought the league title and league cup to Rangers in the 1986/87 season, Smith went on to play a vital role in Rangers' nine in a row title triumph. He was assistant in the first two before becoming manager in his own right when Souness left for Liverpool in April 1991.

Smith guided Rangers to three in a row in a last day title battle against Aberdeen. From then on he took Rangers to nine in a row, cementing his place as one of the greatest ever Rangers managers. But when he failed to secure ten in a row, he decided the time was right to leave the club.

The legend then went on to manager Everton in the FA Premiership but couldn't do too much with them. He then became assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United for a short spell in the second half of the 2003/04 season.

Then Smith got the opportunity of a lifetime, he was asked to become the manager of the national team. The SFA needed someone with experience to win back some pride to the nation after the ill fated Berti Vogts era.

Smith did brilliantly with Scotland, restoring pride and beating the might France 1-0 at Hampden. After Paul le Guen left Rangers, there was only one man David Murray wanted to replace him, it was time for The Gaffer to come home.

By the time Walter Smith arrived back at Rangers in January 2007. The league was already gone, and they had been dumped out of the Scottish Cup by Dunfermline. But Smith restored some pride by winning the League Cup.

Smith then took Rangers to the UEFA Cup Final the following season before winning two in a row in the last couple of seasons. This season will be his last for Rangers before retirement when he will hand the reigns over to Ally McCoist.

Let's hope this last season can be a successful one, and three in a row for Rangers.

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