Denis Smith (born 19 November 1947) is an English former professional footballer and manager. He made 531 appearances in all competitions in 15 seasons as a player in the Football League, and as a manager took charge for 1,195 competitive matches.
Born in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, he joined local club Stoke City as an amateur in 1964, making his first-team debut in September 1968. A hard-tackling defender, he soon established himself in the first team, playing in a centre-back partnership with Alan Bloor for much of his career. Stoke enjoyed one of the most successful periods of their history during his time at the club, as he helped Stoke to win the League Cup in 1972, featuring in successive FA Cup semi-finals in 1971 and 1972 and helping the club to successive fifth-place finishes in the First Division in 1973–74 and 1974–75. His bravery as a player meant that he also entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most injured man in football, although he was never able to fully recover after breaking his leg for the fifth time in his career in March 1975. He did manage to continue to play competitive football, and helped Stoke to win promotion from the Second Division in 1978–79. He missed the entire 1980–81 season due to injury, and left the club in May 1982.Continue reading “Focus On; Denis Smith”