Former Wales and Hull City boss Mike Smith dies aged 83

Former Wales and Hull City boss Mike Smith, the first non-Welshman to take charge of the Dragons, dies aged 83 as fans and former colleagues pay tribute to the ‘real lord’

  • Mike Smith, former Wales and Hull City coach, has died aged 83
  • Smith was the first non-Welshman to coach the Dragons when he took over in 1974
  • He later coached the Tigers and had a spell with Egypt before returning to Wales

Former Wales boss Mike Smith has died aged 83, the Football Association of Wales has announced.

Smith, the first non-Welshman to lead the national team, led them to the quarter-finals of the 1976 European Championship, where they were controversially beaten 3-1 over two legs by Yugoslavia.

A statement on the FAW’s official website said: “The Football Association of Wales is saddened to learn that former Cymru manager Mike Smith has passed away at the age of 83.

Mike Smith, former Wales and Hull City manager, has died aged 83

“The thoughts of everyone at the FAW are with Mike Smith’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Englishman Smith played amateur football for Corinthian Casuals but made a name for himself on the other side of the fence and was appointed director of coaching for the FAW with responsibility for overseeing the development of the country’s intermediate teams.

He replaced David Bowen as senior team manager in 1974 and after taking his side to the last eight in the European Championship, he missed qualifying for the 1978 World Cup final after a 2-0 defeat to Scotland played in a match at Anfield.

Smith left his post in 1979 and then took over as manager at Hull, where he spent three years at the helm.

He led Egypt to African Nations Cup victory in 1986 and led Wales for a second stint after John Toshack’s 48-day reign in 1994, but that lasted only 16 months.

More to follow.