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Legendary Manager

Walter Smith

There are a small number of people who have made such an incredible contribution to Scottish football that they become known by one name. ‘Fergie’, ‘King Kenny’ and standing alongside them is ‘Walter’.

During two spells as manager of Rangers, Walter won 21 domestic honours and led the Ibrox side to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2008. Smith was a close friend of Sir Alex Ferguson, spending time as his assistant at Manchester United after managing Everton.

Walter is warmly remembered for his spell in charge of the Scotland National team where he restored pride in the team after a troubled spell.


Walter Smith

Birthplace Lanark, Scotland

Date of birth 24/2/48

Date of death 26/10/21

Playing career Dundee United, Dumbarton, Dundee United

Teams managed Rangers, Everton, Scotland, Rangers

Making his mark at Ibrox

After a playing career best remembered for his spells at Dundee United where an injury saw his retirement and move into coaching, working under Tannadice legend Jim McLean.

Graeme Souness’ arrival at Ibrox as player-manager opened the door to Walter’s appointment as his assistant. When Souness left for Liverpool in 1991 Walter was appointed as manager. During his first spell leading Rangers he secured seven league titles in a row, three Scottish Cups and three League Cups as Rangers dominated Scottish football in the 1990’s.

Restoring pride to Scotland

After spells down south with Everton and as Sir Alex’s assistant at Manchester United, Walter answered the call from his country, succeeding Berti Vogts as Scotland Manager in December 2004. The national team were at a low ebb, sitting 88th in the FIFA World ranking and were mid-way through a difficult World Cup qualifying campaign.

With a coaching dream team of Ally McCoist and Tommy Burns, Walter quickly restored pride in the side, securing a creditable 1-1 draw with an Italy side that would go on to win the World Cup ten months later.

Before EURO 2008 qualifying began, Walter took his Scotland side for a morale boosting trip to Japan to compete in the Kirin Cup. A 5-1 win over Bulgaria and a 0-0 draw with the hosts ensured the team would bring the trophy home.

This positivity continued into the EURO 2008 qualifying campaign, with a 6-0 win over the Faroe Islands at Celtic Park and a 2-1 win in Lithuania. Then came Walter’s finest moment as Scotland manager. World Cup finalists France – a team packed with world class talent including Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieria and Claude Makelele – arrived at Hampden in October 2006. A prodded Gary Caldwell goal from a Paul Hartley corner gave the Scots a famous victory.

In his own words

Walter Smith in the aftermath of Scotland’s famous win over France in 2006, reflecting on the scale of the achievement.

It's a tremendous result and certainly the best I've ever had as a manager.

Return to Rangers and European adventure

When the managerial vacancy at Ibrox came up in January 2007, Walter returned to Rangers. In his second spell, Walter brought more success – including three more league titles, two Scottish Cups and three more Scottish League Cups.

During Walter’s second spell his Rangers side defied the odds to progress to the final of the UEFA Cup in Manchester, securing famous victories over Fiorentina and Sporting Club en route to the final. Rangers’ would go down 2-0 to a Zenit St Petersburg side managed by former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat.

Honours as a Manager

Scottish Premier League trophy.


Scottish Premier Division

The Scottish Cup trophy.


Scottish Cup

Scottish League Cup trophy.


Scottish League Cup


Kirin Cup

150 years of Scottish

The football greats