FANS and friends of the late Walter Smith have paid tribute to the Helensburgh funeral director who conducted the former Rangers and Scotland manager's service last week.

James Auld Funeral Directors, based in East Clyde Street, led Mr Smith's cortège on Wednesday, November 3 as the football legend passed Ibrox Stadium for a final time, greeted by thousands of supporters outside the ground.

Ex Dumbarton player and Manchester United assistant coach Smith, who lived in Helensburgh, passed away at the age of 73 last month and a private family service was held last week before an invite-only public memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral on November 19.

A social media post shared by James Auld Funeral Directors on Friday said: "Every funeral we look after is unique.

"None more so the funeral we looked after this week for a greatly loved husband, father and grandfather who also happened to be respected and adored by many thousands of football fans throughout the country.

"The assistance received from many different organisations including Rangers Football Club and Police Scotland was greatly appreciated.

READ MORE: Caple chairman leads Helensburgh's tributes to 'true gentleman' Walter Smith

"At James Auld we received many kind messages over the last two days. We also had a fair number of enquiries as to what we did with the scarves and other items thrown on the hearse as it travelled the length of Edmiston Drive.

"We placed them in the hearse before we travelled on to the motorway. After the service we returned them all to sit beside the other tributes at Ibrox just as the day was ending as our picture shows."

Moira Bell commented: "Jim, knowing you and your team personally, thank you for your services, I knew Walter would have been treated with the utmost respect and dignity from you and your always...was so proud to see you lead our great manager passing thru [sic] Ibrox where he belonged and will always be remembered within all our hearts."

Hilary Sawyer said: "I was (weirdly) so proud to see you as the funeral director. You’re absolutely brilliant at your job as much as it’s a horrible time for all concerned."

Helensburgh Advertiser: Andrew Milligan/PA WireAndrew Milligan/PA Wire

Mark Burns said: "The fact that you travelled back to Ibrox from Helensburgh to place the items back at the memorial areas speaks volumes for the type of people you are. As a Rangers fan and someone who very much respected Walter Smith, thank you."

Alistair Freeburn said: "Jim Auld in my opinion you were the only man for this one. Absolute class and respect. You did everyone proud. I was pleased as punch to see you leading the hearse."

And Sybil McHugh wrote: "Thank you for looking after our gaffer and his family. Myself and thousands of others thank you from the bottom of our broken hearts."