Grays, Essex born right back Ted Smith began his football career with Grays Albion in the early 1930’s before joining London League club Grays Athletic in 1932, playing for Athenian League club Barking in 1933 and London League club Tilbury in 1934, from where he was signed by Third Division (South) club Millwall in May 1935, making his Football League debut against Torquay United the same September. Having established himself as a first team regular in his debut season he missed only three matches in The Lions’ 1936-37 campaign as they finished eighth in the division, and he scored his only career goal in a 3-1 victory over Walsall at The Den in March 1937. He was part of the Millwall team that eliminated First Division Champions Manchester City in the 1937 FA Cup quarter final, beating them 2-0 at The Den on 6th March 1937, which is still considered as one of the historic giant killings in the FA Cup, and played the next month in their narrow FA Cup semi final defeat to eventual winners Sunderland at Leeds Road, Huddersfield.
Smith was then an ever present as Millwall won the Third Division (South) Championship in 1937-38 and he continued as a first team regular as Millwall consolidated their position in the Second Division in 1938-39, finishing in thirteenth place, however his career was severely interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, after which he returned to The Den for a further three years until his retirement in 1948, however he only played once more for the first team in post war League competition, in a heavy defeat to Bury in February 1948, retiring having played 161 times for The Lions.
He immediately started a managerial career, arriving at Benfica in 1948. The club’s last Portuguese League title was in 1944-45, and Sporting Lisbon was in the most successful period of their history, winning seven of the eight Championships contested from the 1946-47 season to the 1953-54 season, losing only in the 1949-50 season to Smith’s Benfica. This was the age of the Cinco Violinos (“Five Violins”).
In addition to the League title, Smith’s greatest success was winning the Latin Cup, contested by Latin European nations of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, in a tournament organised at the end of the season, defeating Bordeaux in the Final at Estádio Nacional on 18th June 1950. After winning his second Taça de Portugal in 1950-51, his fourth season was less successful and he left the club in April 1952. After Benfica, Smith managed Workington for one season in 1953-54 where he was soon to be followed by none other than the legendary Bill Shankly, and he later returned to Portugal in 1970 to become manager of Lisbon club Atlético Clube de Portugal, a position he held between 1971 and 1973.