Mike Smith, former Hull City manager and history-making international coach, has died

Mike Smith, manager of Hull City in one of the most difficult periods in the club's history, has died aged 83.

FIRST: Mike Smith was the first non-Welshman to manage Wales, but later endured a difficult time at Hull City

Smith's main claim to fame was in being the first non-Welshman to manage Wales something he did twice, and he was also the first British coach to win the African Cup of Nations but the only club he managed was the Tigers.

Smith did not play the game professionally, turning out for Corinthian Casuals, but proved himself as a coach as manager of the Conference of English Grammar Schools, and as director of coaching with the Football Association of Wales.

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From there he became full-time manager of the national team in 1974, beaten in a play-off which would have qualified them for the 1976 European Championships - what would have been their first major tournament since 1958. It was another 40 years before they reached one again.

After being replaced by Mike England in 1979, he became manager at Boothferry Park, where Hull were fighting relegation from Division Three.

He kept them up by a point, but they finished bottom the following season, and they were in the bottom half of Division Four when he was sacked in March 1982. That, though, was only part of the story.

With the North Stand condemned to make way for a supermarket, crowds dropped below the 4,000 mark in 1981-82, and there was a protest march by supporters in October.

In February, the club made unwanted history as the first in the Football League to be put into receivership and although fans rallied around with increases attendance, Smith, who was on a lucrative long-term contract, had been sacked by then, dismissed by the receivers on March 4.

Smith had won 30 and lost 50 of his 117 games in charge.

It meant he missed out on a golden era at the club, bought by extrovert Scarborough businessman Don Robinson, who oversaw promotions under Colin Appleton in 1983 and Brian Horton in 1985.

For a while Smith worked in sports promotion in Nottingham, mith became manager of Egypt in 1985, becoming the first British coach to win the African Cup of Nations the following year.

He left in 1988, returning to youth development in Wales and taking the national team job for another 18-month spell from April 1994 to September 1995.

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