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Gordon Smith: 'Retiring Kris Boyd should have won more Scotland caps'

Gordon Smith: 'Retiring Kris Boyd should have won more Scotland caps'
© Reuters
The striker is retiring at 35.

Gordon Smith believes Kris Boyd will be hanging up his boots with no regrets despite his meagre tally of Scotland caps.

The Kilmarnock frontman and the Scottish Professional Football League’s all-time top scorer with 222 top-flight goals, is to retire at the age of 35.

The former Rangers striker won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups during his first goal-laden Ibrox stint before moving onto spells with Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Eskisehirspor and Portland Timbers.

Yet Smith still reckons the Tartan Army were short-changed by seeing Boyd win just 18 caps for his country.

The former Scottish Football Association chief executive was in charge at Hampden in 2008 when Boyd announced he would no longer represent Scotland while George Burley was in charge.

He did return a year later after Craig Levein took over but made just three more international appearances.

However, with a cabinet packed with medals and goal records, Smith does not believe Boyd will be looking back and thinking ‘what if?’

He said: “Kris was obviously a bit frustrated by how things were going under George but I think he could maybe have done a bit more for Scotland.

“Scotland were going through a little bad spell at the time.

Kris Boyd (left) withdrew from Scotland duty after a row with national team boss George Burley
Kris Boyd (left) withdrew from Scotland duty after a row with national team boss George Burley (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“But I was disappointed that Kris didn’t play as I felt he had something to offer.

“However, he had a career and international football, he’s won trophies at the highest levels with Rangers and scored a lot of goals, so when he looks back I think he’ll be pretty proud of what he’s done.”

Boyd has called time on a career that started and finished at Rugby Park – with another stint wedged in before his 2014 Ibrox return – with 300 goals netted over 665 appearances for club and country.

While he sometimes struggled to maintain a place in Walter Smith’s Rangers line-up, especially for big European and Old Firm clashes, his ability to put the ball in the net was beyond question.

But he has now decided to retire to focus on his television punditry work as he follows new Scotland boss Steve Clarke through the Killie exit.

But Smith believes the striker – recently linked with a move to Championship outfit Partick Thistle – has called it quits too early and is still capable of banging in the goals.

He said: “I’m surprised Kris is retiring because I feel he can still do a job. I know he didn’t play regularly last season but I think he could still continue, perhaps at a lower level than at Kilmarnock, to play more regularly.

“Maybe the fact he’s now regarded more as a pundit than as a player has had an influence. By retiring he’ll be more available to do that side of things.

“But I think he will still be regarded very highly. His career was great both at Kilmarnock and Rangers.

“He scored a lot of goals and that will mean he is always going to be well respected.”

Confirming news of his retirement, Kilmarnock said in a statement: “Kris will rightly be regarded as a Kilmarnock legend and everyone at the club wishes him all the very best in his future career.

“It may be a long time before we see his like again and Kris will always be welcomed back to Rugby Park with open arms.

“Thanks for everything Boydy.”

: Smith was speaking as he promoted a charity game at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium on Saturday in aid of the Airdrie Community Trust. Tickets are available at the stadium, online at www.therossowenshow.com/charity-football-match and at the gate on match day.

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