Keith Smith: Tributes pour in for Edina Hibs coach after his tragic death at 41

Tributes have been pouring from throughout the local football community for Edina Hibs coach Keith Smith, who died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 41.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 5:54 pm
Updated Friday, 31st December 2021, 8:28 pm
Edina Hibs coach Keith Smith died in a road accident at the age of 41
Edina Hibs coach Keith Smith died in a road accident at the age of 41

The club has already raised more than £3,700 towards his funeral after launching a fundraising page with a £500 target.

A father of two, stepdad and grandfather, the Hibs fan from Danderhall passed away after being involved in a crash near his home on Tuesday lunchtime.

Smith started coaching with Edina Hibs in 2014 and was a pivotal figure in the rebuilding of the club at that time. He has played a huge role in its growing success since then.

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Edina described Smith, who was coach of the 2009 age group, as “an outstanding, caring individual who was full of life and gave his all to help others in the community.”

Club president John Blaney told the Edinburgh Evening News: “The response has been incredible. It’s overwhelming to hear what Keith has meant to a lot of people.”

He added: “Keith was a big part not just of his 2009 team, but of the club as a whole, particularly with the younger age groups.

“The Edina Hibs philosophy is that we don’t make any money out of coaching kids – it’s a community club.

“Keith was passionate in his belief that football should be affordable for everyone. That’s something he focused on.

“He was one of those lads who got on with everybody and he went out of his way to help people.

“In all the time I’ve known Keith since he’s been at Edina Hibs, I’ve not heard anybody say a bad word about him.

“That says a lot about him. In football circles it is difficult to get on with everybody, particularly opposing teams. But Keith was liked and respected by everyone.

“It wasn’t results that mattered to him. It was just about kids getting a game and he got enjoyment out of seeing kids playing football.”

An online book on condolence set up by the club is filling up with tributes from fellow coaches and parents of players.

In a tribute to Smith, the club posted: “For the past eight years Keith has dedicated his life to coaching football to the kids of Edina Hibs in the south east of Edinburgh.

“Keith was an unbelievably generous and loving character. He wore his heart on his sleeve and his passion for grassroots football, and more importantly, for Edina Hibs was huge.

“Keith believed that all kids should have accessible, free / affordable football activities. He was passionate about this, and anyone that knew him at Edina will second that. He gave countless local kids a great start in life.

“Keith never took a penny for coaching and all he talked about was providing this service to local kids.

“It’s this drive and heart that led him to be the brilliant person he was and a genuine community hero to many local kids. The phrase ‘Mr Edina’ has never been more accurate.

“We have lost a brilliant coach, but we have also lost a dear friend. The club is united with Keith’s family in mourning this devastating loss.”

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