"It was the right time for him to move on, especially after that situation," Smith said. "If that had never occurred then it would probably have never have happened that he had to move on. But he has done, and he goes with all our best wishes as he was terrific for us over a period of time when I took over in January 2007. The following season he played to a great level and actually played injured at the end of that season which meant he missed out a lot at the start of last season.
"So it was a slower start to him a year ago and he never quite found the level he had before. He was just getting back injury-free before that unfortunate incident and he will do well down in England for Alex McLeish."
Smith also hoped that memories of Ferguson's success for club and country would not be overshadowed by unfortunate events off the park.
"I hope not. He's been a successful captain for Rangers. We've won championships so I hope he's remembered for that. I don't think anyone could ever question his commitment to Rangers. I hope he's remembered for that rather than one unfortunate incident at the end."