Scottish FA President Rod Petrie and Scotland Head Coach Steve Clarke have paid tribute to former Scotland manager Walter Smith, following his death today at the age of 73.

Smith worked with the Scotland national teams across two different spells, initially as coach of the Under-18s side that won the 1982 UEFA European Under-18 Championship, after which he assisted Andy Roxburgh at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championships in Mexico.

After a period in charge of the Under-21s he again acted as assistant manager for a Scotland side in Mexico, this time as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant for the men’s national team at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

He achieved legendary status across two periods as manager of Rangers, winning 21 trophies, including ten league championships, and guiding the team to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008.

Following his first spell with Rangers he worked in England, first as manager of Everton and secondly as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

He returned to Scotland to take charge of the national team in 2004, where he oversaw a turnaround in the side’s fortunes that saw them rise 70 places in the FIFA World rankings under his watch.

Among the highlights of his tenure as head coach of Scotland were a memorable win over 2006 FIFA World Cup finalists France at Hampden and silverware in 2006 when the side won the annual Kirin Cup tournament in Japan.

He left his position with Scotland in January 2007 to return to Rangers, where he enjoyed a second period of success, before retiring in 2011 after winning the tenth league title of his managerial career.

Scottish FA President Rod Petrie: “Scottish football has lost an all-time great today. Walter’s stature in the game cannot be overstated and he is a rare example of someone who truly deserves the legendary status that has been bestowed upon him.

“When his playing career was cut short due to injury, Walter’s true calling in life became evident and the impact he made in his career will resonate in Scottish football for many years to come.

“He was indisputably one of the most successful coaches in the history of the national game and it is fitting that he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

“He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and his reputation for conducting himself in a dignified manner at all times and being on hand to guide and advise those that knew him preceded him wherever he went.

“The thoughts of everyone at the Scottish FA are with Walter’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

Scotland Head Coach Steve Clarke paid tribute to a “formidable” former national manager, whom he first encountered almost 40 years ago at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Mexico. 

“Firstly, I am shocked and saddened to hear of Walter’s passing and my thoughts are with his family.

“He was a formidable manager and a formidable man. He always had a strength and presence that marked him out and no doubt contributed to the great success he had throughout his career. 

“I had my first experience at the World Youth Championship when he was Andy Roxburgh’s assistant in 1983 and, even back then, he was impressive in his coaching and how he carried himself.

“He was always very supportive and terrific company when our paths crossed over the years. His loss will be felt profoundly across Scottish football.”