Smith Mattha Image 1 Kilmarnock 1922

Smith Mattha Image 1 Kilmarnock 1922


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Stevenston, Ayrshire born inside right Mattha Smith won a Scotland Junior international cap in 1916 while with Ardeer Thistle, from where he was signed by Scottish First Division club Kilmarnock during the close season, making his Scottish League debut in a defeat at Falkirk that August, scoring his first goal in just his second match, a 3-0 win over Greenock Morton a week later. He soon developed into a regular goalscorer for Killie, although he missed the entirety of the 1918-19 season with injury.

The following season saw Kilmarnock win The Scottish Cup for the first time. With Alloa, Queens Park, Armadale & Morton despatched en-route, Kilmarnock triumphed 3-2 against Albion Rovers with a record crowd of 95,811 packed inside Hampden, Smith setting up the first two goals. Smith continued as a near ever present regular for Killie until he broke his leg in the first match of their 1926-27 campaign in a collision with Celtic left back Hugh Hilley. He again missed the entire season.

Having recovered and reclaimed his place in the team, Smith was now the senior professional at Rugby Park and became captain of the side. In 1928-29 Glasgow University, Bo’ness, Albion Rovers & Raith Rovers were seen off during another Scottish Cup run. Celtic were the semi final opponents at Ibrox, Jimmy Weir’s goal was enough to beat them, to lead to the Final against Glasgow Rangers. A penalty save from Sam Clemie plus goals from Aitken & Williamson was enough to beat Rangers in front of 114,708 at Hampden Park. And Smith collected that rarest of items, a second winners medal in a Killie shirt, becoming the first & so far only Kilmarnock player to have two winners medals.

His final goal for the club, fittingly came against Ayrshire county rivals Ayr United on 13th September 1930, and his final appearance was in a 2-1 win over Leith Athletic in February 1931, by when Smith had scored 115 goals in 437 appearances for Killie over fifteen seasons. Smith joined Ayr United that summer, and scored 3 goals in 33 appearances before briefly joining Galston in 1933, retiring in 1934.

After retiring from football, Smith coached at Ardrossan Winton Rovers and returned to Kilmarnock as a scout.

His grandson Gordon Smith was a successful footballer for among others Kilmarnock, Rangers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City and Oldham Athletic in the 1970’s and 1980’s, scoring for Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup Final.

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