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Walter Smith may carry on after Rangers

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Smith hints at staying in football

Walter Smith has revealed that he hopes to remain in football when he steps down as Rangers manager at the end of this campaign.

The 62-year-old insisted he will end his second spell at Ibrox in May after being persuaded to complete one more year at the end of last season.

"Everybody says I'm retiring, but I'm actually leaving Rangers," said Smith.

"I still hope I'll be able to do one or two things. Maybe not as a manager, but I hope to be involved with something."

Smith was speaking at the Scottish Football Hall of Fame dinner, where he was picking up his prize from former Ibrox captain Richard Gough despite being inducted three years ago.

Heaping praise on his former boss, Gough told BBC Scotland: "For me, there's been Jock Stein, Sir Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith. They are the three godfathers of Scottish football. He's earned that right to be up there."

I saw it as a short-term job to help recover the period Rangers were going through

Walter Smith

However, when that was later put to Smith, he was quick to distance himself from such illustrious company.

"I wouldn't put myself up with those two managers," he said. "They are in a league of their own.

"Scotland has produced many great managers over the years. To be mentioned among them is enough for me. But I'm afraid the two you've picked are out on their own as far as I'm concerned.

"I'm very fortunate to have had a great career. I've worked with some great people in management and great players."

Smith, who has had spells in charge at Everton and Scotland, has won six trophies since his return to Ibrox in January 2007.

Prior to leaving the Glasgow club for Goodison Park in 1998, Smith had landed seven consecutive league titles, failing to make it eight in his final term. He also won both the Scottish Cup and the League Cup three times each.

Smith began his coaching career looking after Dundee United's reserves in 1980 and went on to work under managers Jim McLean, Andy Roxburgh, Ferguson and Graeme Souness.

"As a manager you have to do it your own way but I'm grateful for the different things that I picked up from all of those men," he said.

Smith did not envisage being at Rangers at this stage when he left his international post to reassume control at Ibrox.

He planned to hand over the reins to assistant Ally McCoist before now.

"I saw it as a short-term job to help recover the period Rangers were going through," he revealed.

Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith worked together with Scotland in 1986
Smith (right) was assistant to Ferguson at the 1986 World Cup

"The financial problems were kicking in and Sir David Murray asked me to come back.

"With that in mind, I'd appointed younger staff in Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall who would be prepared to take over in a short period.

"Things have worked out OK and the two of them more than anyone else have encouraged me to stay on longer.

"But I have to be fair to them. That's one of the aspects for leaving.

"The other is, the last time I was here, I maybe stayed a bit too long."

Asked how he would like to be remembered for his achievements in football, Smith was typically modest.

"Just for the fact that I was decent at what I was doing," was his reply.

"When you don't make your mark as a player and you get an opportunity in management, you hope to carve out a career and I've been lucky to have had a bit of success during two spells at a great club."

Former Celtic midfielder Paul McStay, ex-Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram, former Scotland manager Craig Brown and David Narey, the former Dundee United midfielder, were added to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame at Sunday's dinner in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, there were posthumous places for former referee Tom Wharton and Hibernian great Bobby Johnstone.



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see also
Brown tips Smith for top SFA role
15 Nov 10 |  Scotland
Walter Smith's career in photos
26 May 10 |  Rangers
Rangers keep Smith for final year
25 May 10 |  Rangers
Gers laud Smith for trophy haul
26 Apr 10 |  Rangers


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