Rangers and Dundee United legend Walter Smith has died aged 73.
His finest years in football management came at Ibrox where he lifted ten league titles, six League Cups and five Scottish Cups, as well as taking Gers to the Uefa Cup Final in 2008.
But before his days in Govan, Smith was No2 to Jim McLean during the finest era in United’s history, having also served the Tangerines with distinction as a player.
The Courier looks back at his time at Tannadice.
What Walter Smith said about his Dundee United days
Following Jim McLean’s death at the age of 83 last December, Walter Smith opened up on his time in tangerine to The Times’ Graham Spiers.
He revealed McLean’s hilarious pitch to him to join the United coaching staff.
The late former Rangers and Scotland boss said: “He said to me one day in 1976-77: ‘At some stage in your career you’ve got to face up to the fact of how good you are.
“’And let’s face it Walter — you’re s***e.’ He then added: ‘But I think you’ve got a real talent as a coach, so would you be my coach?’
“It was hardly a marriage proposal, but that is effectively how I started in coaching. I couldn’t have had a better start as a coach.
“I picked up a lot of things, but I also looked at a lot of books, and I would sometimes go into the club and say to Jim: ‘Look, I’ve got this idea for a bit of training, can we integrate this?’
“And he was always open to these things. Gordon Wallace then came in and joined us in the early 1980s and Dundee United became a club built on important training and coaching principles.”
He recalled how United’s greatest ever manager cut short a celebratory dinner after winning the title to go home to watch Sportscene.
Smith added: “When Dundee United won the league in 1983 he invited my wife Ethel and me, and one of his friends and his wife, out for dinner.
“So we all went to this restaurant in Dundee.
“The rest of us were having a glass of champagne to celebrate winning the league, and all of a sudden, at half past nine, Jim says: ‘Right, we’re off,’ and he left.
“He wanted home to watch Sportscene on the telly. He got up and left, leaving the four of us sitting at the table to finish our meal.
“Football was Jim’s life. It was the same for a lot of people of his generation. Outside of his family, Jim only had football. He only had Dundee United.”