Denis Smith

Denis Smith has twice been Manager of the Year which shows a measure of his expertise. He is a member of the LMA Hall of Fame, being part of the prestigious 1000 club.

Smith, a former top flight centre half with Stoke City, also enjoyed managerial success particularly with Sunderland.

It was with York City, where he became player-manager in 1982, that Denis - who has gone on to top 1,000 games as a boss - first made his mark in the trade.

Smith had previously won the Fourth Division championship for York who, in the process, became the first English club to reach 100 points.

He later topped the feat with Sunderland who stormed to the Third Division title with a record 101 points in 1987-88, his first season in charge. Smith engineered a second promotion for the Wearsiders in 1990, albeit in bizarre circumstances. Sunderland had reached the play-off final, which they lost - but "winners" Swindon were denied a move up after being found guilty of financial regularities.

He had subsequent spells with Bristol City, Oxford United (twice) and West Bromwich Albion before taking charge of Wrexham in 2001 as successor to long-serving Brian Flynn.

Smith proved an equally dedicated figure at the Racecourse Ground during an era of mounting financial difficulties. He was powerless to save the club from dropping into the bottom division but, with hardly any funding, inspired a shock promotion in 2003 for which he won a second LMA Manager of the Year award, having previously earned the prize with York 19 years earlier.

The Welsh club went into administration the following season but Smith still managed to lift the LDV Vans Trophy. Smith and Wrexham parted company in January 2007.

As a player, he was a legend in the Potteries, serving hometown Stoke for 16 years from his debut in 1966. He made nearly 500 appearances, lifting the League Cup in 1972 and playing in Europe.

Honours (9)
  • domestic-trophies
    • Wrexham:
      • LDV Vans Trophy Winners, (2005-04-10)
  • promotions
    • Wrexham:
      • Promotion to Nationwide Division Two, (2003-05-26)
    • Oxford United:
      • Promotion to Nationwide Division One, (1996-05-27)
    • Sunderland:
      • Promotion to Football League Division One, (1990-05-28)
      • Promotion to Football League Division Two, (1988-05-28)
    • York City:
      • Promotion to Football League Division Three, (1984-05-30)
  • personal-awards
    • Wrexham:
      • Manager of the Month, League Three, (2003-04-01)
      • Inducted into LMA Hall of Fame 1000 Club, (2003-01-01)
      • Manager of the Month, League Three, (2002-09-01)
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