Smith started his career with Kilmarnock, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Mattha Smith. He was known as Casper (after the ghost) for the way he ‘ghosted ‘ past defenders in his path. He was sold to Rangers in 1977 for £65,000. In his first season with Rangers, Smith won the domestic treble, scoring 27 goals from midfield. He also scored the winning goal in the 1978 Scottish League Cup Final, against Celtic.
He was sold to Brighton & Hove Albion in 1980 for a record transfer fee of £440,000. He returned to Rangers on loan in December 1982, playing in the 1982 Scottish League Cup Final defeat by Celtic. Smith made three appearances during his loan spell, without scoring.
Smith played for Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. Smith scored the first Brighton goal, but his appearance is best remembered for when he had a chance to win the cup for Brighton late in extra time. The ball broke to Smith within 10 yards of the goal, but his shot was smothered by United goalkeeper Gary Bailey. The match ended in a 2–2 draw, then Brighton lost 4–0 in the replay.
After Brighton he joined Manchester City. He was the top scorer for City in the 1984/85 season. He then had a short spell with Oldham Athletic. Smith then went to play in Austria with Admira Wacker, and in Switzerland with FC Basel, and he then finished his career back in Scotland with Stirling Albion.
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