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Former Liverpool captain Tommy Smith dies aged 74

Former Liverpool captain Tommy Smith has died at the age of 74, the club announced on Friday.

Nicknamed the “Anfield Iron” by club supporters, Smith, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, made 638 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 48 goals and captaining the team for three years during that time.

Perhaps his most famous goal came in the 1977 European Cup final, when Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 to lift the trophy for the first time.

Smith was part of teams that won nine major trophies while at Liverpool, including four league titles in England’s top flight, one European Cup, two UEFA Cups and two FA Cups.

Smith’s daughter Janette Simpson said: “Dad died very peacefully in his sleep shortly after 4.30pm today at Green Heyes Nursing home in Park Road, Waterloo, Crosby.

“I was on my way to see him when he passed a couple of minutes before I arrived.

“Dad was only in here since the end of January and prior to that had been living in a care and sheltered accommodation complex for three years in Maghull.

“He had been growing increasingly frail and suffering from a variety of ailments over the last three months especially.

“We are obviously all devastated.”

Having joined the club as a schoolboy, he was fast-tracked into the first team by former manager Bill Shankly and swiftly gained a reputation as one of football’s most fearsome competitors.

Shankly once famously said of Smith — a true hard man in an era when tough tackling was encouraged and admired — that he “was not born, he was quarried.”

Smith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 after caring for his wife Susanne who died after suffering from the same condition.

In a story on Liverpool’s official website the club said: “The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Tommy’s family and many friends.”

Information from Reuters was used in this story.

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