The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Fond farewell for Falkirk’s Smith against Saints
Falkirk technical director Alex Smith admits it will be emotional as he prepares to say farewell to senior football following a 60-year involvement in the game.
The 78-year-old will officially retire after tomorrow’s final Championship game of the season at home to St Mirren, the team he led to Scottish Cup glory in 1987 before emigrating to AustraliawithwifeJanice.
Press and Journal columnist Smith began a modest playing career with Kilmarnock in 1958 but made his name in management, notably with the Buddies and Aberdeen, whom he led to three top-flight runners-up places and Scottish and League Cup success.
The Bairns are planning a day of celebration to mark Smith’s departure and former Dons pair Theo Snelders and Jim Bett are among special guests for the respected coach’s final game.
St Mirren supporters will head to the Falkirk stadium in good spirits having seen their team clinch the league title and Smith concedes he will struggle not to be overwhelmed by the occasion.
Smith, who has been in his current role since 2009, said: “It’s brilliant St Mirren are the visitors on Saturday, it’s quite a coincidence and it’s quite important for me that something like this has happened.
“I had great days at St Mirren, great for myself and my management team.
“There are a lot of exSt Mirren players coming, there will be the Falkirk boys and people who worked with me at Stenhousemuir and Stirling Albion. Theo Snelders is travelling from Holland, Jim Bett is coming from Iceland – they are the representatives from Aberdeen and it’s a nice wee touch.”