Portsmouth and Burnley mourn passing of former right-back Fred Smith

Former Pompey right-back Fred Smith has passed away at the age of 77.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 6:04 pm
Former Pompey right-back, Fred Smith, has passed away at the age of 77

The diminutive defender made 96 appearances and scored once after arriving at Fratton Park in May 1970.

He was bought from Division One Burnley for £10,000, with team-mate Colin Blant also recruited by the Blues that summer.

Smith memorably provided the right-wing cross for Mike Trebilcock to net the last-gasp equaliser against Arsenal in a famous FA Cup match in January 1971.

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That ensured the Division Two Blues took the subsequent Double winners to a replay at Highbury, where they lost 3-2.

Smith would be an ever-present during the following 1971-72 season, along with Norman Piper, as Ron Tindall’s side finished 16th.

That campaign also produced his only goal, netting in a 6-3 success over Fulham in October 1971, with Nick Jennings (2), Richie Reynolds, Trebilcock and Eoin Hand also on the scoresheet.

However, during his third season, Smith was troubled by a cartilage injury, forcing him out of the second half of the campaign.

Fred Smith watches Norman Piper slide in for the ball during a training session at Eastney, with Mike Trebilcock (left) and George Ley (right) in the background

A 1-0 home win against Sheffield Wednesday in January 1973 proved to be his final appearance, despite attempts to return from injury.

He left Fratton Park in September 1974, linking up with former team-mate John Collins at Halifax Town, and later joined Dallas Tornado.

Smith, who died at the end of last month, is the second member of that side which faced Arsenal to recently pass away.

The pair were both in Tindall’s starting XI against the Gunners in that January 1971 encounter – and also featured in the replay.

Of that team, Brian Bromley (2012) and Ray Pointer (2016) have also since passed away.

Smith made 107 appearances during seven seasons at Burnley and remains highly regarded at Turf Moor. In 2009 he was named at 60 in the 100 Greatest Clarets.