Stephen Halliday: John Smith’s passing is a sad loss to Scottish game

Scottish football lost another link to a less confrontational and more gentlemanly past with the passing of John Smith at the age of 77 last week.

John Smith was always courteous and unfailingly helpful. Picture: SNS.
John Smith was always courteous and unfailingly helpful. Picture: SNS.

The former Stirling Albion director, below, was a trusted colleague and valuable acquaintance to many in the game, both in other club boardrooms and among those of us engaged in documenting the administration of Scottish football.

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Smith was a media contact of the old school, courteous to a fault and unfailingly helpful without ever betraying any confidences. No telephone call to John ever went unreturned.

He was president of the Scottish Football League from 2002 to 2007, a turbulent period of the organisation’s history, retaining his dignity at a time when more unscrupulous individuals did not cover themselves in glory amid events which ultimately led to it being subsumed by the Scottish Premier League.