Rangers hero Graeme Souness’s tribute to Walter Smith on manager’s anniversary

The late Walter Smith and his wife, Ethel, statue plan announced on anniversary.

By Ewan Paton in Rangers Review

International footballer and top media pundit Graeme Souness has emotionally detailed his final encounter with Rangers legend Walter Smith.

Souness appeared on radio’s talkSPORT this week alongisde Jim White and Simon Jordan when it was revealed that Rangers are planning to erect a statue to Helensburgh man Smith, who once also played for Dumbarton.

Towards the end of the programme, White mentioned that on October 26 it marked one year since Smith’s sad death.

Souness and Smith were great friends from their time together at Rangers.

The Ibrox club announced on the one-year anniversary of Smith’s death that they had commissioned a statue to display in his honour.

Asked if it was a fitting tribute to his old friend, Souness replied: “Oh yeah. Along with Bill Struth he goes down as Rangers’ greatest ever manager.

“The trophies he won, his style. He was a popular man.

“We had unbelievably good times. He’d say to me on a regular basis when we were together that the best years he ever had were our years together. We had such a laugh, it was so exciting.

“I’ll always remember the last time when I went to see him, when he was dying.

“He couldn’t get out of bed. His wife brought a cup of tea and then she disappeared to let us chat.

“Then, he got out of bed. He was attached to oxygen and other tubes.

“He came and sat next to me on the settee. We were close to each other. About a yard apart.

“He sat next to me as if he knew it was going to be the last time that I would see him.

“He was a great man. Great is often used – it’s used too much in football. Walter was a great human being.”

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