The dapper chairman who oversaw Liverpool's greatest spell of success, John Smith was a highly influential figure behind the scenes who worked tirelessly to ensure that the club's high standards were maintained at all times.

A lifelong supporter of the Reds, he initially joined the board in 1971 and was elected chairman two years later, bringing a helping of business acumen to the role that significantly aided the club throughout the 1970s and '80s.

A keen advocate of stability and continuity, it was Smith who ended the club's policy of regularly changing chairman, and he was a firm believer in the benefits of promoting from within - as proven by the inspired managerial appointments of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish.

Always on the lookout for innovative ways of maximising the club's on-field success, he negotiated a ground-breaking shirt sponsorship deal with Hitachi in 1979.

Smith also later worked diligently to safeguard the club's reputation in the aftermath of the Heysel and Hillsborough disasters.

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