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Liverpool great Smith dies aged 74

AFP  |  London 

legend Smith, one of the key figures in the club's first golden era, died at the age of 74.

Smith's no-nonsense performances at the heart of Liverpool's defence saw him nicknamed the 'Anfield Iron' during his 18-year spell on Merseyside.

Making 638 appearances for the Reds between 1960 and 1978, Smith won a host of medals as the club rose to prominence both domestically and in

Under the management of the great Bill Shankly, Smith helped dominate for two decades.

Reflecting his tough style of play, Shankly once said of one of his favourite players: "Smith wasn't born, he was quarried".

Smith, who captained the club for three years, was one of the most influential members of the team that won for the first time in 1965.

Twelve years later, with at the helm, he would head a crucial goal as Liverpool won their maiden by defeating Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1977 final in

In total, Liverpool-born Smith, who grew up in the shadow of Anfield before joining the club he supported as a boy, won the English title four times, twice, the once and Cup twice.

to Liverpool's official website, Smith's daughter said: "Dad died very peacefully in his sleep shortly after 4.30pm today.

"He had been growing increasingly frail and suffering from a variety of ailments over the last three months especially. We are obviously all devastated."

Smith left Liverpool for Swansea, managed by his old Reds team-mate John Toshack, in 1978, and helped them to promotion from the old

He received the MBE for services to and retired from playing in 1979.

A brief return to Anfield as preceded a career as an after-dinner

Smith suffered a in 2007 before being diagnosed with Alzheimers and in 2014.

Smith's former Liverpool team-mate told that his fellow defender was an 'icon'.

"I loved him from the Kop, because of his passion, commitment and never-say-die attitude," he said.

"He was an incredible figure who helped me out enormously. Club owe this guy a debt of gratitude.

"To go on and play with him, rub shoulders with him, go into battles with him, he was iconic. He wanted and desired the points every week.

"was the epitome of what demanded. He drove the team, he was incredible."

Former Liverpool added: "He was a great advert for Liverpool Club, the way he conducted himself. His memories will be there forever."

was one of the Liverpool goalkeepers who benefitted from Smith's defensive excellence.

"So desperately sorry to hear of the passing of a real legend of the club. Honoured to play with him. of men thoughts are with family and friends," Clemence said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 09:50 IST