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Everton boss Benitez pays tribute to Smith

Everton manager Rafa Benitez has hailed Walter Smith after the legendary manager passed away at the age of 73.

Smith spent four years as Everton manager in between two widely successful periods with Glasgow Rangers.

"Walter was highly-respected by everybody at Everton and it was the same everywhere in football," Benitez told

"It is a really sad day for our club and our sport. We have lost one of the really good guys in our profession.

"I met Walter at Newcastle and we spent some time talking about football. I enjoyed spending that time in his company and he made a very good impression on me as a manager and a person.

"You read what Walter's former players have said about him and the influence he had on their careers and lives is clear.

"He was a great professional and will be remembered as a legendary figure in football."

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