Jim Smith: Former QPR, Derby and Birmingham boss dies at the age of 79

Jim Smith: Former QPR, Derby and Birmingham boss dies at the age of 79

Former QPR manager Jim Smith has died, aged 79, the Championship club have confirmed.

After a long playing career, Smith enjoyed success as a manager including leading Birmingham into the First Division and taking Oxford into the top flight.

Jim Smith was highly thought of in the football world

Hulton Archive – Getty

Jim Smith was highly thought of in the football world

He also served as League Managers Association (LMA) chief executive before returning to management and leading Derby to the Premier League.

Smith was also inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame – 1,000 club.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson paid tribute to Smith, saying: “Jim and I have known each other since our teenage years, and I have been in his debt since the day he asked me to become player-coach at Boston United where I served my apprenticeship.

“I have so many fond memories of Jim as a football manager but foremost as a friend.

The former manager was close friends with Harry Redknapp

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The former manager was close friends with Harry Redknapp

“He was intelligent, passionate, determined, honest and always great fun to be with. Never one to mince his words, he was a leader in the truest sense.

“He was liked and admired by everyone around him, truly an authentic, down-to-earth gentleman.”

LMA chief executive Richard Bevan added: “Jim was a true friend to the LMA and will be very sorely missed by his colleagues and friends.

“He was an inspiration to so many people throughout his career and a highly valued member of the LMA Hall of Fame – 1,000 Club in recognition of his contribution, achievement and legacy to the game.

He enjoyed plenty of success during his managerial career

Getty Images – Getty

He enjoyed plenty of success during his managerial career

“When Jim was approached by the LMA to become the association’s chief executive in 1995, he gladly accepted the responsibility, only relinquishing the position to return to management with Derby County.

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his wife Yvonne and all his family and friends.”

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