I'd like Tommy to answer this.
Around 1967 the respected sports journalist Frank McGhee called for you to replace Bobby Moore at the heart of England's defence.
I agreed with him.
In the mid 60's you were comfortably the finest back four player in England - above Moore in all round play if not quite having his reading of the game [which Brit did?] and behind only Beckebauer in Europe. You proved it week in week out at the very top level in England and Europe. The presence of golden boy Bobby - he was better looking by a whisker or two - and later on the more favoured Norman Hunter denied you possible 60/70 caps.
So why - when you were such an outstanding footballer in all aspects of the game including control, passing, dribbling. driving forward etc etc as well as tackling/defending do you continue to be misrepresented as merely a hard man and why do you yourself also seem to have swallowed the tag at the expense of your other qualities?
Could it be that even you have fallen prey to your own myth and forgotten just how outstanding a footballer you really were in those mid-sixties?
Sure you were tough - as tough as anyone around and there were some right hard-cases - but as a footballer alone - never mind the tackling - I'd put you right into our top ten best ever.
The late 70's/early 80's lot go for Alan Hansen - and I understand why. Yet, Tommy, the fact is that if they'd have seen you play week in week out in the mid sixties then Jockey wouldn't get a look in.
Justice for Tommy Smith.