ARDENCAPLE Football Club’s chairman has led the Helensburgh tributes to “true gentleman” Walter Smith following his death at the age of 73.

The Rangers legend and former Scotland manager, who was the local youth football club’s honorary president, passed away on Tuesday, and friends from the footballing world - along with neighbours in Helensburgh, where he lived - have paid their respects.

Winning 10 top-flight titles over two spells as manager of the Ibrox club, as well as five Scottish Cups and six League Cups, ‘Sir Walter’, as he was affectionately known by fans, led the team to the UEFA Cup final in 2008.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Walter Smith’s death was confirmed by Rangers FC on Tuesday morning, with tributes flooding in for the football legend online and outside Ibrox StadiumWalter Smith’s death was confirmed by Rangers FC on Tuesday morning, with tributes flooding in for the football legend online and outside Ibrox Stadium

As a player he was part of the Dumbarton squad which reached the Scottish Cup semi-final in 1976.

Craig Holborn, chairman of Ardencaple FC, said a minute’s silence will be held before kick-off in this weekend’s matches “as a mark of respect to our dear friend”.

He told the Advertiser on Tuesday: “Today is a very sad day not just for football but for our Burgh in general, for everyone involved with Ardencaple Football Club, and especially for Walter’s family and friends.

“We have lost a truly great man; a legend in the world of football, irrespective of what team you support, a genuine hero within our local community and, more importantly, just a wonderful person.

“Walter enjoyed a long relationship with Caple, firstly as a devoted dad and supporter watching his sons and then his grandsons playing for the club, and more recently as honorary president – a role that he took very seriously and into which he invested considerable effort.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Walter Smith at a Caple awards ceremonyWalter Smith at a Caple awards ceremony

“Walter was so generous with his time and whenever he attended Caple events he would always go that extra mile to accommodate requests from our players and their families.

“A scheduled short appearance to present medals and awards could easily take hours as players’ mums, dads, grans and grandpas would all queue up to meet him, have their photos taken, and have him autograph old match tickets or other memorabilia.

“Walter was very active in his support of Caple’s fund-raising schemes, taking the final penalty when the club set a new Guinness World Record, and along with wife Ethel he always attended Caple’s annual goals and glamour dinners.

“We offer our sincere condolences, our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this terribly sad time. Rest in peace, Walter.”

Sharing a favourite memory of the great man on Facebook, Advertiser reader Ollie Johnston said: “In 2012, my dad was rushed into hospital for a aortic aneurysm. As a result, he struggled to walk after the operation, but, with time, he built his strength up.

“After a few weeks, he was out for a walk with my mum and got words of encouragement from a gentleman who had been watching him push himself.

“The person who offered words of support was Walter Smith. He wasn’t just supportive in football, but, encouraged people in life.”

Helensburgh Advertiser: Caple's 1995s squad with Walter SmithCaple's 1995s squad with Walter Smith

Heather Lewis said: “Quite literally bumped into him coming out a cubicle in Helensburgh Swimming Pool once when his grandsons and my daughter did swimming lessons together.

“As always a big smile and a friendly chat took my embarrassment away fairly quickly.

“A true gentleman who will be missed by many.”

Ian Greig commented: “My wife’s uncle invited me to a Burns supper at the Rosslea a few years ago and Walter and his family were there.

“We had a great night listening to Burns poems and then some Scottish dancing which him and the family joined in.”

Eddy McGourlay added: “A true gentleman, have had the pleasure of meeting him on many occasions and will always have fond memories of him.”

Gemma Kimmett said: "He once looked on disapprovingly as his wife and I discussed wine in Morrisons one Christmas... at 10am."

And Amanda Logan wrote: "A great family man and always had time to stop and say 'hi'. Nothing was too much bother. A legend in his own right and will live on in everyone’s memories."

READ MORE: Rangers and Scotland legend Walter Smith dies aged 73