"I was only fifteen and playing in a five-a-side game at Melwood. I nutmegged Byrne and scored and I was on top of the world. A couple of minutes later a ball dropped between us, I went to head it and Gerry headed me and I went down with a gashed eye. As I lay on the ground covered in blood, Shankly strolled across, looked down at me and said `Lesson number one, never nutmeg Gerry Byrne son and think you can get away with it."
From Tommy Smith's interview on Shankly.com
"There was an incident once when I was coming back from injury and had played for the reserves in a match against Preston at Anfield. I was approached by a chap and his wife as I left the ground. I asked if I could help them and they simply thanked me for not kicking their son. He had been playing inside left for Preston ! Again, it showed the value of reputation. I'd had absolutely no intentions of doing anything to this kid but my reputation had obviously not only got to him but to his parents as well.
I make no bones about it, that's what I was good at. Some players were good dribblers, others good headers, I was a hard tackler and I used it to gain that 'edge' that Shanks was always looking for."
Smith on lfcbootroom.net in 1999
"If he isn't named Footballer of the Year, football should be stopped and the men who picked any other player should be sent to the Kremlin."
Bill Shankly on Tommy Smith in the 1970-71 season. Members of the Football writers' association voted Frank McLintock.
"Tommy hated losing and was quite prepared to put himself through all manner of pain and suffering to avoid it. There was an element of notoriety about it which I think he quite enjoyed, but if any opponent cared to put that reputation to the test, Tommy didn’t disappoint them.
His fearless nature not only unsettled the opposition, it inspired his team mates. They drew strength from his example. It was little bit like having a big brother around to sort out any trouble you got into. Seeing Tommy racing on to the field after having a couple of stitches inserted into a head wound could put courage into the most cowardly of hearts – as long as you were on his side!"
Bob Paisley on Tommy Smith
"There is a famous picture of me after the final whistle running towards Ronnie Moran. It looks as if I was dashing across to throw my arms around him, but in fact I was asking for my two false teeth. I had to look the part in the post-match photo session."
Tommy Smith on the celebrations after the European final in 1977
"Come near me and I’ll break yer back”, was his catchprase. But he’s actually a very nice man, honest!"
Norman Hunter on Tommy Smith
Tommy Smith started out as a centre forward. Chris Lawler was amused by his playing style: "Smithy, the opposition would kick-off and you would be straight in to tackle the centre-half. Shouldn’t it have been the other way round?"
Chris Lawler's remark to Tommy Smith
"We [Smith and Chris Lawler] only found out later that a certain gentleman from down the East Lancashire Road has been monitoring our progress in the Central league. Matt Busby, the manager of Manchester United, was still rebuilding after the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958. Later Bill Shankly would reveal to me that Busby had offered him £50,000 for the joint services of Messrs Smith and Lawler. The boss wouldn’t let his young prospects go. He had his own agenda and thankfully I was on it."
"I had now my heart of lifting the FA Cup at Wembley while helping Bob Paisley clear his head about that 1950 disappointment against Arsenal. My lasting memory is being down on my knees in one of the dressing-room toilets after the game, being violently sick. I don’t know why I was so ill. My pre-match build-up was the same as usual. Almost certainly, it was down to my bitter disappointment. As a kid I had dreamed about leading Liverpool up the steps to the Royal box to collect that most famous of all trophies."
Tommy Smith's reaction after Liverpool lost to Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup final
"I was known as the Anfield Iron in my playing days. The Anfield Plastic doesn’t sound quite so intimidating, but in recent years I have had so many new joints fitted, I am soccer’s equivalent of the Bionic Man. I have got two plastic knee joints, an artificial right hip and a plastic right elbow – the end product of 21 years of fierce competition, beginning as a 14-year-old playing for Liverpool Boys and ending as 35-year-old with Swansea City."
Tommy Anfield Iron Smith
"That first day at Anfield, 10 January 1978, was a revelation. It seems a long time now but I remember how normal and ordinary it all was, no prima donnas, no superstars. I made only one error on that first morning, I asked Tommy Smith if I could borrow his hairdryer (I know it’s hard to imagine tough guy Smithy with a hairdryer but it’s absolutely true) and he turned to Phil Neal and said pointedly: ‘Everyone is allowed one mistake’. I took my own in the future."
"The atmosphere at Anfield was remarkable in those days – and it still is today. Just as in the sixties, seventies and eighties, the Kop still put the fear of God into opponents – just ask Chelsea!"
Tommy Smith in 2007
"I did warn players. When Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves came out at Anfield one time I handed him a piece of paper. He said: 'What's this?' I said: 'Just open it.' It was the menu from the Liverpool Infirmary."
Tommy Smith on his intimidation tactics
"Tommy Smith wasn't born, he was quarried."
Bill Shankly summed up Tommy Smith best
"I was heading up to the North East for a speaking engagement and was using the fairly quiet M58 to link up with the M6, the M62 and finally the A1. I think I looked momentarily down to adjust the car radio. The next thing my car was totally out of control. I skidded and swerved trying desperately to straighten up. Then a tyre burst and the car flipped, crossing all three lanes before careering up an embankment and finishing upside down on what was left of the roof. If I can remember one thing it was the total silence. There I was suspended upside down, in agony and being slowly strangled by my own tie. I had eight broken ribs, two broken collar-bones and more seriously three hairline fractures at the top of my spine.
Following the accident I had a metal frame, called a halo, attached to my head. When I say it was attached, it was literally screwed into place to keep my head perfectly still to allow my hairline fractures in my spine to heal. Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think, not least about Bill Shankly’s words: "Football is not so much a matter of life and death. It's more important than that." Perhaps when you have cheated death, as I did, you are able to keep things in perspective."
Tommy Smith cheated death in April 1998
"I was born with football in my blood. Red of course, not Blue. There are no half measures in Liverpool, either in the pubs or in a football sense. My grandfather and father supported Liverpool. There was no debate. No arguement. I would also follow the Mersey Reds. Indeed it went a little bit deeper than that with me. I was a fanatic, brought up on a diet of football, football and more football. Possibly this is because I was born in the house at the bottom of Arkles Lane, within shouting distance of both Liverpool’s famous Anfield stadium and Everton’s equally historic Goodison Park.
My early days were actually spent in Buckingham street, Everton, in a flat over a coal yard. Everton! What a thought. The boy Smith was happy to get an early transfer out of that district at the age of five. We moved to 9 Lambet Road. Once again, it was only a stone’s throw from the two football stadiums. You could certainly hear every roar and chant in my house as the Kop army paid homage to one super hero in particular, an individual who I idolised and who I would eventually have the honour and privilege to call a teammate. The legendary Billy Liddell. I was a Catholic. Who idolised King Billy Liddell. But the religion was football and the only thing that mattered was supporting your team through thick and thin."
Tommy was a red through and through!