Feb 2001 Managers Jim Smith Of Derby And John Gregory Of Aston Villa Picture Id1098405?s=28

English clubs Portsmouth and Derby County have announced the demise of their former manager Jim Smith who died at the age of 79 after long term battle with illness. 

The Englishman played football for years before he became a coach where he took Birmingham to topflight and Oxford to the first division. Jim Smith also served as League Managers Association chief executive before returning to management and leading Derby to the Premier League. 

His last club was handling the Oxford football team as caretaker manager before he retired from coaching in 2009.

During Jim Smith's coaching career, he was in charge of 1,500 games with nine clubs across the Leagues. 

And while playing active football, Smith spent over three years with non-League side Boston United and also had spells with Halifax and Lincoln. 

"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. 

"I have so many fond memories of Jim as a football manager but foremost as a friend,''. LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson explained according to UK Mirror.

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