Sad news as legendary Sheffield Wednesday and England physio passes away

Legendary Sheffield Wednesday and England physio, Alan Smith, has sadly passed away at the age of 74.
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Smith became a big part of the Wednesday setup in the 1980s, serving the club for over a decade and playing his part in the successful early 90s period at Hillsborough before joining England on a permanent basis under Terry Venables in 1996.

He worked with four England managers at four major tournaments, and his work was credited for making sure that two of the nation’s biggest stars, Alan Shearer and David Beckham played in European and World Cup Finals.

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A statement from the club read, “Sheffield Wednesday are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former head physiotherapist Alan Smith at the age of 74.

“Wednesdayite Smith joined Howard Wilkinson’s backroom staff at Hillsborough in 1983 and enjoyed an 11-year stint with the club having previously worked at Darlington, Rotherham and Blackpool.

“Known for his infectious enthusiasm, he became a cult figure with Wednesday and was seen as one of the very best in his profession over a 50-year career.

“His enthusiasm was best illustrated by his lightning-quick runs onto the field when tending to injured players, often sparking ambulance sounds from Wednesdayites as they marvelled at his pace!

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“During a game between the Owls and Spora Luxembourg in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup, Smith performed heroics when responding to a fallen Paul Warhurst following a head collision, unblocking the forward’s airway and saving his life.

“A popular dressing room presence, Smith would often lead the Wednesday players during fitness drills, a man ahead of his time when sports science was much less prevalent than it is in the modern game.”

In 2003 Smith was gifted a silver international cap for his service to the national team, and then in 2015 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Football Medical Association for his service to football.

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