Gordon Smith: Marauding Scottish defender who played for Aston Villa, Spurs and Wolves
Tuesday 27 May 2014
Gordon Smith was one of the most promising young defenders in British football when he crossed the Scottish border to join Aston Villa from St Johnstone in August 1976. Sadly, despite laying on the winner as Villa won the League Cup in 1977, and going on to spells with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Glaswegian’s career was hampered by injuries.
Smith turned professional as a teenager with the Saints in July 1971 and accumulated youth international honours and four under-23 caps while making more than a century of top-flight appearances for the Perth club.
In the summer of 1976, the 22-year-old full-back was snapped up for £80,000 by Villa boss Ron Saunders and became a first-team regular. The highlight of Smith’s first English campaign was the League Cup triumph in which he played a decisive hand in the second replay of the final against Everton at Old Trafford, making a typical marauding run down the right to supply the cross from which Brian Little poached the winner in the penultimate minute of extra time.
Smith consolidated in 1977-78, but during the following term he lost the No 3 shirt to Gary Williams, had a disagreement with the martinet Saunders and accepted a £150,000 transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in February 1979.
Despite early injuries, there followed solid contributions in both full-back slots, and he worked hard to bounce back from a knee operation in 1980. But he missed out on Spurs’ FA Cup glory in 1981 and was freed to join Wolves a year later.
At Molineux, where he was deployed periodically in midfield, Smith helped to secure promotion to the elite grade in 1982-83, but fitness problems persisted and he left in 1984.
During mid-decade there was a brief sortie in South Africa and fleeting service to Phoenix Pride and Pittsburgh Spirit in the US, before premature retirement.
Gordon Melville Smith, footballer; born Partick, Glasgow 3 July 1954; died 5 April 2014.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...