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Former Derby and Portsmouth boss Jim Smith dies aged 79 | UK News

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Former Derby and Portsmouth manager Jim Smith has died aged 79.

His death was announced by another of his former clubs, Queen’s Park Rangers.

They said: “All at QPR are deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of former R’s manager Jim Smith. Our thoughts are with Jim’s family at this upsetting time.”

Smith with Harry Redknapp in 2006
Image:
Smith with Harry Redknapp in 2006

Smith spent much of his playing career in the old fourth division with Halifax, Lincoln and Colchester, but most of his appearances came for non-league side Boston United.

He moved into full-time coaching after spells as player-manager for both Boston and Colchester, taking the reigns at several big name clubs including Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

But he is best remembered for spells at Portsmouth, where he led the side from 1991 to 1995 before returning as the assistant manager to Harry Redknapp between 2002 and 2004, and at Derby County.

Smith guided the Rams to promotion from the old first division in 1996, which saw them move into the Premier League for the very first time and secure an impressive 12th place finish in their debut campaign.

Derby moved into their Pride Park stadium for the 1997-98 season and Smith led them to consecutive top 10 finishes, but resigned in 2001 following a downturn in form.

He did not return to a head coach role until he took the job at Oxford United in 2006, more than 20 years after he had brought his first stint there to an end.

Smith stepped down in November 2007 only to return once again as caretaker boss a year later, which proved to be his final job in football management.

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