Jim Smith has died aged 79
Former Derby, Portsmouth and Oxford United manager Jim Smith has died aged 79. The football manager was known as the 'Bald Eagle' and enjoyed a good career across eight different clubs in various leagues.
A League Cup final appearance with QPR in 1986 and promotion to the Premier League with Derby in 1996 were his career highlights.
"Our thoughts are with Jim's family," said QPR in a statement.
Smith's playing career was largely in the lower leagues but he left his mark when he became a manager down the line.
He was always a strong motivator of players, very direct and helped several big names make it in the game.
John Aldridge and Darren Anderton are just two names that went on to secure big moved after working with Smith and made the most of their footballing talents.
"I have so many fond memories of Jim as a football manager but foremost as a friend," said League Managers Association chairman Howard Wilkinson.
"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.
"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 known for getting teams promoted as well.
Colchester United and Birmingham both climbed divisions under Smith before he transformed Oxford into a top-flight side.
Smith did struggle when he was given an opporutnity at Newcastle but he made up for it when he guided second-tier Portsmouth to an FA Cup semi-final in 1992.
He would later miss out on promotion through the play-offs with Pompey though.
Derby was to be his last big managerial job where he helped the Rams into the Premier League.
After that he had assistant manager spells at Coventry City, Portsmouth and Southampton, before a return to Oxford.
That would be where he would finish his 38-year career in football.