Divided loyalties for former boss

07 May 2010 04:18
York City legend Denis Smith admitted he will have divided loyalties when two of his former clubs, York City and Oxford United, battle for a return to the Football League in their play-off final later this month. Following a very distinguished playing career in which he made almost 500 senior appearances for hometown club Stoke City, who he also helped to a League Cup final triumph in 1972, Smith joined York, initially on loan, before being appointed as their player-manager in May 1982. Twelve months later he had magnificently guided the Minstermen to the Fourth Division title, while in the process securing them a record 101 points total. He later went on to manage Sunderland, Bristol City, Oxford (twice), West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham."My youngest son, Tom, lives in Oxford and my eldest, Paul, lives in York," Smith told The Press. "They both support their local teams, but we will all sit together at the match."I'd prefer it if both clubs could have gone up but I'm delighted one of them will and the whole play-off situation has been a bit awkward for me because I'm also Rushden striker Sam Smith's great uncle so I've been looking out for three teams."I'm just looking forward to a good game now. I have fond memories of both clubs and hope it will be a cracking match."