COMMENT: A chance to salute one of Scottish football’s greats

Falkirk Herald backpage, April 26 2018
Falkirk Herald backpage, April 26 2018

Here it is, another tribute column to Alex Smith.

Yet it still doesn’t seem enough, not even close.

There’s something poetic about Saturday and his big farewell to Scottish football – a place he has given so much time, expertise, and joy.

That it comes against St Mirren – his first Scottish Cup winning side is a co-incidence, at a time where they too are on the crest of a wave and celebrating silverware just as they did in 1987.

Then there’s the other fixture up the road – Stenhousemuir – his first managerial club making the trip to Stirling, his hometown and the club he spent so many years honing his managerial abilities that have served him – Scottish football and many others – so well all these years later.

If either slips up, another of Alex’s teams – Clyde – can take full advantage with the play-off places at stake.

It seems fate, poetic and set in the stars, but Alex Smith has given so much to so many across Scottish football it’s almost inevitable that the fixture list would throw up these co-incidences.

There’s a legacy widespread that he’ll leave as he heads off Down Under to start a new chapter in his life with wife Janice and her family in Brisbane, and he’ll never be forgotten on these shores. Not by managers he’s helped as chairman of the league managers association, or via the SFA coaching lisence course.

Not by St Mirren or Aberdeen where he brought silverware, or Dundee United, Ross County, Falkirk, Clyde or Stirling where he served his time as manager. Nor by Albion Rovers, Kilmarnock, East Stirlingshire where he was a player.

Saturday is a chance for all of us, on behalf of St Mirren, Falkirk and Scottish football to say thanks to one of the greats.