Chick Young's view

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland football pundit

Through the whirlwind of ticker tape, amid the thundering noise cascading down the Rugby Park stands you could just about see it.

Just a moistness about the eyes: the old fox had cracked.

Rangers manager Walter Smith
Smith signed off with a 10th championship success for Rangers

In the last moments of an astonishing career which took him twice round the Ibrox block, Walter Smith finally showed a tear of emotion as he realised that at long, long last... it really was over.

Not the final European game, not the ultimate Ibrox fixture but the last hurrah. The party's over this time, Walter.

But to be fair it was a shindig of Hollywood Hellraiser proportions.

Rangers secured a title, battering down a door which was left ajar by Celtic's inexplicable inability to win at Inverness. Deep in the heart, even the most passionate of Celtic fans must have known that they had let go of the rope.

But from the Smith perspective, if you are going to go, go in style. Another championship, a remarkable 21st trophy.

He'll be a rather hard act to follow, a point not lost on one Alistair McCoist.

The Rangers manager walked from the game on the weekend that we lost another of the old school, , who sadly lost his fight against cancer.

The former SFA secretary was an iron fist on the Scottish game. We could have done with his punching power this troubled term.

But at least we ended a tormented season with the ball back out of the cupboard, talking not of religious intolerance, bombs, and theories of conspiracy.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was dignified in his summing up of the championship unfolding and credited Smith with being a fine coach and an outstanding human being.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon can still achieve success with Scottish Cup finalists Celtic

It was a much-needed postscript of class to autumn, winter and spring peppered with the nonsense of Scottish society.

Speculation about Lennon's future will ebb and flow with the tide, but I cannot see that the Parkhead board can do anything other than ask him to stay.

His signings, motivational efforts and tactics have been sound; his ability to unite the club's support remarkable. His is a work in progress.

The madness must cease of course for no-one can live a sustained life of the kind of lunacy which wafts around him.

Meanwhile at Ibrox they party on as Smith and McCoist discuss the handing over of the baton while rafting down the churning waters of an Idaho river for charity.

That will be interesting. I'd like to wire the lifejackets to hear that chat.

McCoist is under no illusions about what he faces. He compared succeeding Smith to taking the microphone from Sinatra. Aye, and the driver from Tiger Woods, the steering wheel from Schumacher and the frying pan from Delia.

Rangers were worthy champions because the champions always are. It's a distance event and even if Celtic did stumble in the Highlands it was not that night alone which cost them dear.

Smith heads for the horizon with the Clydesdale Bank trophy under his arm and McCoist paddling alongside him.

Meanwhile, Celtic hang around for a cup final.

And then we do it all again. Can't wait? Actually not this time.

This old reporter will welcome the respite.

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