Scottish Rugby hall of famer Tom Smith has died aged 50.
Smith, who made 61 appearances for Scotland and six for the British and Irish Lions, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in November 2019.
He also played for Glasgow Warriors, Caledonia Reds and Northampton during a 14-year top-flight career.
After retiring from playing he coached Edinburgh, between 2009 and 2012, and Lyon for three years between 2012 and 2015.
He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2013 and delivered the match ball for Scotland’s game against South Africa in November of that year.
Scottish Rugby tweeted: “Scotland and Lions prop Tom Smith sadly passed away earlier today aged 50.
“A hugely respected player, Tom will be greatly missed by everyone associated with rugby in Scotland and throughout the game. All our thoughts are with Tom’s family and friends at this time.”
The British and Irish Lions also paid tribute on social media.
It said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Smith.
“Tom made an incredible impact for the Lions, touring in 1997 as well as 2001 and was one of the great props to play the game. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. RIP Tom.”
Gregor Townsend hailed Smith as one of Scotland’s best ever players.
The Scotland head coach said: “Tom was one of the toughest and most skilful players I had the pleasure to call a team-mate.
“He succeeded in the most challenging of environments and kept up a high level of play well into his thirties.
“Tom also did a tremendous amount for charitable causes and was a great family man. I am convinced that he will be regarded as one of our best ever players and his loss will be felt by all those who played with him or watched him for club and country over the years.”
Chris Paterson, who also played alongside Smith for Scotland, said: “Tom was simply inspirational. He was someone who had an aura that I didn’t experience with any other player and commanded instant respect.
“As well as being a wonderful rugby player, he was a lovely, warm generous person and made you feel 10 feet tall when he spoke to you.”
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