RIP – Brian Smith
Former Canterbury footballer Brian Smith has died in Rotorua, aged 72.
He was best known as a Canterbury rep player but played in New Zealand selection teams in the mid-1960s, including being an unused sub for the national XI’s 11-0 defeat to Manchester United in 1967.
Smith – his full name was Gordon Brian Smith – was widely known as GB or Smithy. He died on Christmas Eve.
After a career in the insurance industry, he retired to Rotorua where he became a popular football columnist for the Daily Post.
His family has had more international representatives than any other with his father Gordon playing six times for New Zealand, and four uncles (Bob, Vic, Jack and Roger) all wearing the national shirt.
His father was a New Zealand selector and his uncle Bob was chairman of the NZ Football Association. Bob’s grandson, Ryan Nelsen, captained the All Whites at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Brian Smith, husband of the late Sally, was the father of Greg and Riz, Jacqui and Jeff, Steve and Ange, brother of Louise and Doug, Russell and Lynn.
Former All Whites captain and Canterbury stalwart Steve Sumner said though he never met Brian Smith, he had heard “many, many stories that abound of the Smith family in Canterbury” and he was sure the family legacy would live on.
“We lose another of our football family and part of a very famous one at that in Canterbury.
“RIP, Brian. We never met but my sincere condolences to all the Smith family and descendants.”