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tears shed Ally McCoist's incredibly moving tribute to 'second father' Walter Smith

McCoist played under Smith at Rangers and then worked with him as a coach with the Scotland team

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Walter Smith talks with Ally McCoist and David Weir during a training session at Old Trafford yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Walter Smith talks with Ally McCoist and David Weir during a training session at Old Trafford yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Walter Smith talks with Ally McCoist and David Weir during a training session at Old Trafford yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Ally McCoist offered up a moving tribute to his mentor and former manager Walter Smith, after he passed away at the age of 73.

McCoist played under Smith at Rangers and then worked with him as a coach with the Scotland team and his emotions rose to the surface as he tried to deliever fitting words to a man who meant so much to him.

“He means everything to a lot of folk, myself included. He was my boss, my coach, my second father and then turned into one of my best friends,” McCoist told talkSPORT. “The loss is absolutely incredible.

“However, the good thing is he’s not in pain. I went to see Walter recently, I spoke to him on Saturday and was going to see him again on Sunday but he was too unwell. I know Graeme [Souness] was up seeing Walter at the weekend, too.

“We knew that sadly there was an inevitability about this horrible illness, we did know that it would be a matter of time.

“However, it still does not take away the pain and the grief.

“At this moment in time, all I can think about is his wife Ethel, Neil and Steven and his grandkids. All Walter would have wanted is another few years to watch those grandkids play football and spend a lot of time with Jessica and them all, and sadly that’s the most painful thing right now.

“I could sit here and tell you about Walter Smith until the cows come home, about how good a manager, how good a coach, how good a football man he was.

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 Walter Smith dies aged 73 announced on October 26,2021.

Walter Smith dies aged 73 announced on October 26,2021.

Walter Smith dies aged 73 announced on October 26,2021.

“But what I will say is he was the best husband, the best father, the best friend – everything you’d expect in a man.

“It’s a tragedy today. I can’t tell you how devastated I am. Absolutely devastated."

McCoist went on to suggest Smith achieved a feat few have managed in the long and often bitter rivalry between Rangers and Celtic as he added: “He was just the most genuine of men. He was hard, fair, honest and he had an absolutely wicked sense of humour. He was just brilliant to be around.

“He was loved by everyone, and across the divide, make no mistake about that.

“We love football rivalry, but my phone’s been incredible just now with Celtic friends and supporters.

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“He was just a football man. A sore loser, but appreciated losing was part of the game and handled it all with so much dignity and class.

“Some of the happiest times ever we had. He was an unbelievably intelligent man.

“The history books will tell us how good Walter was as a manager and as a coach and that is there, they are all the things we understand and what we appreciate and love him for.

“But what a friend, what a pal, what a boss, what a husband, what a grandfather, what a dad. That is the message that we should all be thinking about.

“These guys and Ethel have lost somebody so close to them, so special to them. I send them my love and I can feel their pain.”

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