Walter Smith honoured as Rangers and Celtic lay wreaths outside Ibrox with poignant note from Steven Gerrard

Football rivalry was put aside as representatives from both Rangers and Celtic staged a poignant tribute to Walter Smith at Ibrox ahead of this evening's match against Aberdeen.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and assistant Gary McAllister lay a wreath in memory of Walter Smith, who has passed away aged 73, on October 27. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Steven Gerrard and assistant Gary McAllister laid a wreath in memory of the club's most successful post-war manager amid emotional scenes following the announcement of Smith's death at the age of 73.

They were joined by captain James Tavernier, and veterans Steven Davis and Allan McGregor - who both played under Smith during his second spell as manager - as crowds gathered to pay their respects outside the stadium.

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The wreath carried by Gerrard included a hand-written message, signed by the Rangers manager, which read: "To the Smith family, I am really sorry for your loss on behalf of me and my staff.

Rangers players Steven Davis, James Tavernier and Allan McGregor lay a wreath in memory of Walter Smith. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

"I want to send our condolences. He was a huge support to us all. He will be sorely missed.

"Lots of love, Steven Gerrard".

Rangers chairman Douglas Park also placed a floral tribute, while Celtic were represented by chairman Ian Bankier, interim chief-executive Michael Nicholson and club legend Tom Boyd.

The trio walked alongside Rangers' managing director Stewart Robertson as they laid a wreath which read: "Rest in peace Walter... From everyone at Celtic Football Club".

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard's handwritten note to the Smith family outside Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

There has been an outpouring of grief throughout Scottish football following the news of Smith's passing, and the gates outside Ibrox have turned into a shrine with hundreds of bouquets, scarves and flags placed by mourning fans and well wishers.

Rangers cancelled their pre-match media conference ahead of the Aberdeen match but an emotional Gerrard paid tribute to his mentor and predecessor in an interview with Rangers TV.

“It’s still very raw but it is a sad day for everyone connected to the club,” he said.

“Walter was an incredible leader, a very successful manager at Rangers. I think he epitomised everything this club stands for. His DNA is all over the club. It’s obviously very sad news.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier (centre) lays a wreath in memory of Walter Smith alongside chief executive Michael Nicholson and Tom Boyd. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“I’ve been the lucky one to know him and spend time with him. So have an awful lot of other people who will have their own special memories of a great man.”

Rangers will hold a minute’s silence before kick-off at Ibrox this evening in what is sure to be an emotionally-charged occasion.

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