Rafa Benitez, the manager of Everton, pays tribute to the ‘famous’ Walter Smith.

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Rafa Benitez, the manager of Everton, pays tribute to the ‘famous’ Walter Smith.

Following Walter Smith’s tragic death, Everton manager Rafa Benitez paid tribute to the “famous and highly-respected” Walter Smith.

On Tuesday morning, it was announced that Smith had died at the age of 73, after a long struggle with sickness.

Smith became Everton manager in the summer of 1998 and managed the club for nearly four seasons, overseeing 168 matches.

In addition to his tenure on Merseyside, the Scot enjoyed two incredibly successful spells with Rangers.

Walter Smith was more than an Everton manager; he was beautiful, dignified, and a legend.

Walter Smith, a former Everton striker, has left an emotional note.

Smith became a hero at Ibrox, winning 21 trophies during his two stints there, making him the club’s second most successful manager behind Bill Struth.

“Everyone at Everton admired Walter, and that was the same everywhere in football,” Benitez told evertonfc.com.

“This is a truly tragic day for our club and sport. In our profession, we’ve lost one of the genuinely good guys.

“I met Walter in Newcastle and we talked about football for a while. I had a great time working for him, and he made a great impression on me as a manager and as a person.

“When you read what Walter’s former players have said about him, it’s evident how much of an impact he had on their careers and lives.

“He was a consummate professional who will go down in football history as a legendary figure.”

“Walter’s achievements as a manager were extraordinary,” Benitez continued. Our Chairman mentioned how, while Walter was here, he continued to fight and demonstrate his loyalty and talent.

“These are the things I’ve always heard about Walter,” says the narrator. That he was a brilliant football manager who was even better as a human being.”

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