London (AFP) – Former Scotland and Rangers manager Walter Smith has died at the age of 73, the Glasgow giants confirmed on Tuesday.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our former manager, chairman and club legend, Walter Smith,” Rangers said in a statement.
Smith is Rangers second-most successful ever manager, winning 21 trophies across two spells in charge.
Already at the club as assistant to Graeme Souness, Smith was appointed full-time manager at Ibrox in 1991 and won seven league titles in eight years to lead the club to a record-equalling nine consecutive Scottish league titles.
After a four-year stint at Everton and a brief spell as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United, he was appointed manager of Scotland in 2004.
In 2007, he returned to Ibrox, winning three more league titles and guiding Rangers to the UEFA Cup final in 2008 before retiring in 2011.
“It is almost impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers,” said Rangers chairman Douglas Park.
“He embodied everything that a Ranger should be. His character and leadership was second to none, and will live long in the memory of everyone he worked with during his two terms as first team manager.
“Winning 10 top-flight titles as manager, five Scottish Cups and six League Cups, as well as leading his club to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008, he will be remembered by the football community across the world.
“His spells as Scotland manager as well as managing in the English Premier League underlined his credentials as one of the great modern day football managers.
“However, for Rangers supporters, he was much more than just a football manager. Walter was a friend to many, a leader, an ambassador and most of all-a legend.”