Hall of Fame 3 – Denis Smith

December 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The third entrant into the Red Passion Hall of Fame is former Wrexham manager, Denis Smith. In October 2001 his reign began at Wrexham after Brian Flynn resigned as manager. Smith had previously had managerial experience at York City, Sunderland, Bristol City, West Bromwich Albion and Oxford United. Unfortunately, Smith was unable to save Wrexham from being relegated to Division Three (Now known as League Two), but in the following season, Wrexham finished third and won automatic promotion back into the third tier of English football. For this achievement, Denis received the League Manager’s Association Manager of the Year award.



In the following campaign, Hall of Shame newcomer, Alex Hamilton, was introduced to the scene with an aim to knock down the Racecourse Ground and strike a deal with hardware giants, B&Q. Wrexham were the first club to receive a 10 point deduction for going into administration which meant the club were relegated back into Division Three. Despite the circumstances and lack of funds, Smith led Wrexham to a victory in the LDV Vans Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff defeating Southend United 2-0 after extra time.


In the following season, Wrexham finished mid-table despite Premier League loanee Matt Derbyshire firing 10 goals in 16 games for the Dragons. With financial restrictions in place, Smith could only guide Wrexham to a mid-table finish which was soon to worsen. During the following campaign, Wrexham started the season unbeaten before a midweek defeat against Accrington Stanley 5-0. The poor results that followed meant that Wrexham were placed 18th and the owners, Neville Dickens and Geoff Moss dismissed Denis Smith as the manager of Wrexham.


15 months later and Wrexham found themselves in the Non League for the first time in the club’s prestigious 138 year history. Since Smiths departure, Wrexham have had three managers; Brian Carey, Brian Little and Dean Saunders, who between them have brought in over 150 players. This is something Smith was unable to accomplish in his time at Wrexham.  When discussing Brian Little’s budget, Smith stated: “I would have liked to have the opportunity to have that money to see what I could have done with it,” With that kind of backing, you would expect them to be in the promotion play-offs.”


Denis is now a part-time mentor for young Academy players needing guidance off the pitch at Stoke City. In 2008, Smith released his autobiography entitled "Just One Of Seven". Smith is held in high regard by the majority of Wrexham supporters and will be remembered for bringing the club success in a time of uncertainty.



What to Expect

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Matchday Experience

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Where to Eat & Drink

What to Expect

Contact Information

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