Gordon Smith (footballer, born December 1954)

Gordon Duffield Smith (born 29 December 1954 in Kilwinning)[4] is a Scottish football player, coach and executive. Smith played for several clubs, including Kilmarnock, Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City. After retiring as a player, he worked as a football agent and BBC football pundit before being appointed chief executive of the Scottish Football Association in 2007, a post he held until his resignation on 19 April 2010.[5] Smith then worked as the director of football of Rangers during the 2011–12 season.

Gordon Smith
Gordon Smith (footballer).jpg
Smith in 1978.
Personal information
Full name Gordon Duffield Smith[1]
Date of birth (1954-12-29) 29 December 1954 (age 65)
Place of birth Kilwinning, Scotland
Playing position Forward / Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1977 Kilmarnock 161 (36)
1977–1980 Rangers 98 (35)
1980–1983 Brighton & Hove Albion 109 (22)
1982Rangers (loan) 2 (0)
1983–1985 Manchester City 45 (15)
1985–1986 Oldham Athletic 9 (0)
1986–1987 Admira Wacker 38 (6)
1987–1988 FC Basel 25 (3)
1988 Stirling Albion 3 (0)
Total 490 (117)
National team
1975–1976 Scotland U23[2] 5 (0)
1978 Scotland U21[3] 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Smith was also responsible for the introduction of an agreement between the Home Nations' football associations which allowed players educated in a home nation for five years before the age of eighteen to represent that nation at international level, as a result of the change in policy several players have gone on to represent a country they were previously ineligible for.

Playing careerEdit

Smith started his career with Kilmarnock, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Mattha Smith.[6] He was known as Casper (after the ghost) for the way he 'ghosted ' past defenders in his path.[citation needed] He was sold to Rangers in 1977 for £65,000. In his first season with Rangers, Smith won the domestic treble, scoring 27 goals from midfield. He also scored the winning goal in the 1978 Scottish League Cup Final, against Celtic.

He was sold to Brighton & Hove Albion in 1980 for a record transfer fee of £440,000. He returned to Rangers on loan in December 1982, playing in the 1982 League Cup Final defeat by Celtic. Smith made three appearances during his loan spell, without scoring.

Smith played for Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. He scored the first Brighton goal, but his appearance is best remembered for when he had a chance to win the cup for Brighton late in extra time. The ball broke to Smith within 10 yards of the goal, but his shot was smothered by United goalkeeper Gary Bailey.[7] The match ended in a 2–2 draw, then Brighton lost 4–0 in the replay.

After Brighton he joined Manchester City. He was top scorer for City in the 1984–85 season.[citation needed] He then had a short spell with Oldham Athletic. Smith then played in Austria with Admira Wacker, and in Switzerland with FC Basel. He finished his career back in Scotland with Stirling Albion.[4]

After playingEdit

Smith had a spell as assistant manager of St Mirren between 1990 and 1993[citation needed] before beginning careers in the media and as a football agent. He represented many players, including Scotland players Paul Lambert and Kenny Miller.[citation needed] Smith published an autobiography in 2005, entitled "And Smith Did Score", the royalties from which he donated to children's charities.[8]

Scottish Football AssociationEdit

Smith relinquished his career as an agent to take up the position of Scottish Football Association chief executive, which had been vacated by David Taylor moving to UEFA, in June 2007.[9] Soon after being appointed SFA chief executive, he suggested in a book that there was "an agenda against Rangers", the team he formerly played for.[10] Smith's controversial and somewhat chequered spell[11] as CEO of the Scottish FA ended when he resigned in April 2010 due to personal reasons.[12] After leaving the SFA, Smith wrote a weekly column in the Scottish edition of the Daily Express newspaper and featured on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

However, he did make his mark in international football, Smith was the driver behind the 2009 Home nations agreement,[citation needed] which allowed players being educated for five years under the age of 18 in a Home nation to become eligible for that nation at full international level. Due to this policy change, several players who were otherwise ineligible could play international football for the nation they were educated and raised in. Somalia-born Islam Feruz became eligible for Scotland, Chester-born Andy Dorman represented Wales and Jamaican-born Raheem Sterling went on to play for England.


In June 2011, Smith was appointed Director of football at Rangers by their new owner Craig Whyte, tasked with assisting new manager Ally McCoist.[13] He left this role in February 2012, soon after the club entered administration.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Gordon Smith". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Scotland U23 Player Gordon Smith". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Scotland U21 Player Gordon Smith". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Gordon Smith at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  5. ^ "Smith quits as SFA chief executive". STV Sport. 19 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Mattha Smith | Former Players". www.killiefc.com. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^ Hodges, Tim (21 May 2010). "Gordon Smith lets examine the myth!". The Argus. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 23 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "That Miss Just History Now". Daily Mail. 10 December 2005.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Smith all set for SFA's top job". BBC Sport. 1 June 2007.
  10. ^ Spiers, Graham (10 October 2007). "'There is an agenda against Rangers over sectarianism' says SFA chief". Times Online. Times Newspapers Limited. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008.
  11. ^ Wilson, Mark (19 April 2010). "Family first for Gordon Smith: SFA stunned as chief executive walks out". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers.
  12. ^ "SFA chief executive Gordon Smith steps down from role". BBC Sport. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Gordon Smith to become Rangers' director of football". BBC Sport. 18 June 2011.
  14. ^ "Gordon Smith: 'I wasn't allowed to do my job at Rangers'". STV Sport. STV Group. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  15. ^ "Gordon Smith and Ali Russell made redundant by Rangers". STV Sport. STV Group. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.