Former QPR, Derby and Birmingham boss Jim Smith dies, aged 79

Former QPR manager Jim Smith has died at the age of 79, the Championship club have announced.

After a long playing career, Smith made his mark as a manager including leading Birmingham into the First Division and taking Oxford into the top flight.

He also served as League Managers Association (LMA) chief executive before returning to management and leading Derby to the Premier League.

Smith was also inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame – 1,000 club.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson paid tribute to Smith, saying: “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.

“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.

“He was liked and admired by everyone around him, truly an authentic, down-to-earth gentleman.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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