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Bobby Smith
Personal information
Full name Robert William Smith
Date of birth 14 March 1944 (1944-03-14) (age 65)
Place of birth Prestbury, England
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1965 Manchester United 0 (0)
1964–1967 Scunthorpe United 82 (12)
1967–1968 Grimsby Town 52 (1)
1968–1971 Brighton and Hove Albion 75 (2)
1971 Chester City 2 (0)
1971–1973 Hartlepool United 69 (7)
1973 Bury 0 (0)
Total 280 (20)
Teams managed
1973–1977 Bury
1977–1978 Port Vale
1978–1980 Swindon Town
1995–1996 Swansea City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Robert William (Bobby) Smith (born 14 March 1944 in Prestbury, Cheshire) is an English former professional footballer and football manager. He was capped by England at Schools and Youth level. He is apparently the son of Conway Smith and grandson of Billy Smith of whom he gets his middle name from.


Playing career

Bobby Smith began his career with Manchester United who he joined in April 1961. He made over 200 appearances for the United reserve team, but left in March 1965 to join Scunthorpe United still waiting for his league debut. He moved to Grimsby Town, for a fee of £8,000, moving on again to Brighton and Hove Albion in June 1968.

He left Brighton in June 1971, joining Chester City, but moved to Hartlepool United in October of that year. In August 1973 he moved to Bury as player-coach, but failed to appear in their league side.

Managerial and coaching career

When Smith began his managerial career with Bury in November 1973, taking over from Allan Brown, he was the youngest manager in football league. He had initial success, guiding Bury to promotion from Division Four at the end of the season. He was sacked by Bury in October 1977 after a poor start to the season, but two days later was appointed as manager of Port Vale. He made a series of new signings at Vale, but the club were relegated from the Third Division by April 1978 nonetheless.[1]

Smith was appointed as manager of Swindon Town manager in May 1978, with the Town having to pay a compensation fee of £10,500 to Port Vale. Despite still being a relatively young manager, he guided Swindon to a promotion challenge in his first season in charge - missing out by three points, after losing the last two games of the season.

The following season, Swindon beat Arsenal to reach the League Cup semi-final, but lost to Wolves in the semi-final, when Wolves scored the winner five minutes from the end of the second leg. Having spent large amounts of money, particularly on David Peach and Glenn Cockerill, expectations were high at Swindon for the 1980-81 season. However, Smith was sacked in October 1980 after Swindon lost their first five games.

In 1981 he joined the coaching staff at Blackpool and in July 1982 moved to be a coach at Newport County. He was manager of Newport between June 1985 and March 1986, leaving the financially impoverished Welsh side just a couple years before their total financial collapse.

He coached Cardiff City between 1989 and July 1990 and later that year became assistant manager of Hereford United. He joined the coaching staff at Swansea City in March 1991 and was made assistant manager the following year. In October 1995 he became manager of Swansea after the departure of Frank Burrows, but resigned just 80 days later in December of the same year. In 1996 he was appointed to the coaching staff at Sheffield Wednesday where he performed a variety of roles before leaving in the summer of 1999.


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