Everyone at the club was extremely saddened to learn of the recent passing of Bill Smith, one of our oldest supporters and grandad of our player Lewis Smith.
Bill, who was 87, had attended Accies matches with his father William since the 1940s, and then continued the family tradition of supporting Accies with his own son, son-in-law and five grandsons.
A long-standing season ticket holder and player shirt sponsor, Bill saw most of the biggest Accies games of recent years including Challenge Cup finals, our league cup semi-final against Dundee United in 1979 and our famous Scottish Cup win against Rangers at Ibrox in 1987.
He was on the terraces of old Douglas Park when we defeated Berwick Rangers 9-1 on the opening day of the 1980-81 season and one of his last away matches was a special trip to Dumbarton to see Jose Quitongo make his third ‘debut’ for the club in 2003.
After grandson Lewis signed for the Accies youth academy, Bill and wife Susan would often attend his home games either at the stadium or at other venues around Hamilton. During youth games at the Bent Road playing fields, they were a regular sight watching matches from their camping chairs.
The couple were also among a packed crowd at New Douglas Park in 2018 to see our U19 side defeat Basel in the Uefa Youth League, with Lewis scoring in the penalty shoot-out which saw Accies through.
Despite failing health in recent years, Bill continued to attend first-team games and was there in August 2019 when Lewis capped his first home league start with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.
Bill’s funeral was held on Wednesday 15 December at Hillhouse Parish Church, with the Accies club crest included on the Order of Service.
As a mark of respect, a minute’s silence will be held before our next home game against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day.
In the meantime the thoughts of everyone at the club go to Bill’s family.