Walter Smith: Former Rangers, Everton and Scotland manager dies at age 73

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Walter Smith, a former manager of Scotland, Everton, and Rangers, has passed away at the age 73.

Smith was a legendary Rangers boss, having won 21 trophies in just two spells. He is now second only to Bill Struth.

He won the seven final titles of Rangers' nine in-a row run in the 1990s. He returned to Ibrox for 2007

He spent four years with Everton, two with Scotland and then was enticed back by the Glasgow club.

In 2008, he was elected to his second term as the manager. He won three more titles and made the final Uefa Cup appearance.

His death occurs in the same year Rangers won their first top-flight championship since Smith's last season as manager in 2011.

"Much more than a football manager"

Walter Smith was the Rangers manager and won the last two of his 21 trophies in 2011.

Douglas Park, Club chairman, commented that it was almost impossible to capture what Walter meant for Rangers.

"He was everything a Ranger should be. His leadership and character were unmatched and will be cherished by all those he worked alongside during his two terms as the first team manager.

Walter was the last time I spoke to him. He was able to offer advice and support even when he was sick. I am grateful for that. I know he maintained a dialogue with our manager Steven Gerrard and other senior staff members.

Rangers will miss Walter. Rangers fans will miss Walter as more than a football manager. Walter was a friend to many and an ambassador, but most importantly, a legend.

Ally McCoist was a Smith 1990s Ibrox player and later became Smith's assistant manager with Scotland, Rangers. McCoist said that Smith was his boss, coach, second father, and then became one of my closest friends.

"The loss of him is truly devastating. He was the best husband and father, friend, and everything you could want in a man. "I can't even tell you how distraught I am."

Assistant, player, manager, & chairman

Smith was a defender for Dundee United. He began his coaching career with Jim McLean when he was 29 years old. Smith suffered a pelvic injury that forced him to retire prematurely.

Smith was also a Dumbarton player and assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson during the 1986 World Cup. But it was as a manager that Smith really made his mark.

He was Graeme Souness' number 2 in Tannadice, and he became solely responsible in 1991. This led to a nearly decade of dominance that included the 1993 domestic treble. It also gave him the opportunity to match Celtic's nine consecutive titles.

Smith was once more a coach for Ferguson in 2004 when he joined Manchester United's coaching staff.

Smith was relieved of Rangers manager duties in the second half of 2013. He then served a three-month term as chairman of Ibrox. However, he resigned in 2013, after bitter infighting in the boardroom.

Rangers confirmed that Smith was in recovery after an operation in March.

His death comes 10 months after McLean, who he had assisted for a long time at Dundee United, passed away at 83.

Park said that Walter "leaves behind a wife and children, and grandchildren. All of whom are in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts during this difficult time."

Rangers, who play Aberdeen on Wednesday night, requested that the Smith family be kept in privacy.

Everton released a statement saying that it was deeply sad to hear about the passing of Walter Smith OBE, the club's former manager.

"The Scot was a hugely popular figure at Everton. Players and staff unanimously warm to Smith's genial, empathetic nature."