Jim Smith: Former Derby, Oxford United and Portsmouth boss dead aged 79

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Former Derby, Portsmouth and Oxford United manager Jim Smith has died aged 79. The football manager was known as the ‘Bald Eagle’ and enjoyed a good career across eight different clubs in various leagues.

A League Cup final appearance with QPR in 1986 and promotion to the Premier League with Derby in 1996 were his career highlights.

“I have so many fond memories of Jim as a football manager but foremost as a friend,” said League Managers Association chairman Howard Wilkinson.

“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.

“He was intelligent, passionate, determined, honest and always great fun to be with. Never one to mince his words, he was a leader in the truest sense.”

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