Walter Smith: Ex-Rangers, Scotland and Everton manager in hospital after operation

Former Rangers, Scotland and Everton manager Walter Smith recovering in hospital after undergoing operation on Monday; Smith won 21 major trophies in two spells at Ibrox and had four years in charge of Everton from 1998 to 2002

Rangers manager Walter Smith holds aloft the Scottish Premiership trophy in 2009
Image: Walter Smith is the most successful manager in Rangers' history

Former Rangers, Scotland and Everton manager Walter Smith is recovering in hospital after undergoing an operation.

In a brief statement on the Rangers website, the Scottish club confirmed Smith had undergone an operation on Monday.

The statement concluded by saying: "His family have requested privacy at this time."

Smith's importance to Rangers winning their 55th Scottish top-flight title was recently highlighted by former Gers player Derek Johnstone.

Smith is Rangers' second most successful manager, winning 21 major trophies over two spells, including seven successive league titles between 1991 and 1998, and Johnstone revealed Smith has had several meetings with current boss Steven Gerrard.

Johnstone told the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast: "Before he came up, Steven spoke with Kenny Dalglish and asked what Scottish football and Rangers were all about so he did his homework. And who better to ask when he comes up to Glasgow than Walter Smith, who lives 20 minutes away from Ibrox?

"I think they've met on several occasions, they've had lunch at Ibrox, and they've just sat down and Walter has explained to him what the club is all about and the clubs he's going to be facing, like playing Aberdeen at Pittodrie is a game the fans look forward to. Rangers are not liked up at Aberdeen and haven't been for many years, just things like that to give him an idea of what he's going to be up against.

"Plus the pressure - if you lose two games at this club, you're under pressure. Steven would just sit there and listen because Walter has been there, seen it, and done it.

"I think he's been a fantastic help for him and anytime there is a problem, Steven doesn't worry, he just picks up the phone and calls Walter, they can meet each other and discuss it.

"It's great for a manager to have an ex-manager there who was successful to talk to."

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