Many Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media after it was announced that our former manager Jim Smith had died at the age of 79.
Smith managed nine different clubs across the football leagues during a 39-year career in the dugout, with spells in charge of Oxford United, QPR, Portsmouth and Derby County, as well as his time at St. James’ Park.
“Jim had fought illness with his usual bravery for some time,” said Oxford in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Sheffield-born Smith had a no-nonsense approach to the game and was known to be a strong motivator of players, while being lauded as a key part in the development of talents like John Aldridge and Darren Anderton.
His time at Colchester United and Birmingham City helped see the two outfits climb the divisions during the 1970s, before plying his trade at Oxford, who became a top-flight side under his tenure.
How do you remember Smith’s time at St. James’ Park?
Smith moved to Tyneside in December 1988 to replace caretaker boss Colin Suggett, but was unable to prevent the club from being relegated into the second-tier.
He would spend two-and-a-half years at St. James’ Park in all before leaving the club having struggled to get near the Play-Offs, with a parting note of describing the Toon as “unmanageable”.
While the club failed to secure our return to the top-flight under Smith, we were able to welcome Micky Quinn to the Magpies, among others, with the centre-forward joining in the summer of 1989.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reflected on the ‘Bald Eagle’…
Could’ve achieved what Keegan did with the backing of the board RIP Jim Smith 🙏
— Andrew Middleton (@MiddletonAndy) December 10, 2019
RIP Jim. He was at the helm for my first match in April 1990…a 3 0 win over Stoke City.
— Simon Horn ⚫⚪⚫⚪ (@SimonHo91784269) December 10, 2019
Big character & great personality #RIP
— John Paul Wilkinson (@jpwdogs1964) December 10, 2019
My favourite years as a fan, RIP the Bald Eagle
— Heeda9🇬🇧 (@LeeHender4) December 10, 2019
The first manager I remember as a kid, he really had it tough in his stint but still gave us the epic Quinn & McGhee forward line
RIP Jim 😢😢😢
— Claret & Blue Pixels (@Dazzla84_SSFC) December 10, 2019
Fist manager I watched the toon under. Sad news.
— Lee Spoor (@LeeSpoor40) December 10, 2019
R.I.P. Jim you where there when it was dark days at St James Park
— Holystone Mags (@MagsHolystone) December 10, 2019
Rip Jim you and Ron can talk about when football was football
— Melvyn Parker (@melp195809) December 10, 2019
This article was originally posted here