Smirnov passed away on June 21 at the age of 86.
He was one of the best Latvian football players of all time and a player of the Riga “Daugava” championship team.
Smirnov was born on January 20, 1936 in what is now St. Petersburg, but from 1957 to 1969 he played in the ranks of Riga’s “Daugava”.
Smirnov, who was also the captain of the team, had a particularly successful season in 1960, when he scored 11 goals in the USSR Premier League championship and was among the 33 best footballers of the USSR that year. No other representative of Latvian clubs earned a similar honor during the USSR.
Despite the opportunity to move to one of the leading football clubs in the USSR, Smirnov remained faithful to Riga almost throughout his career.
At the end of his career as an athlete, Smirnov worked for a long time as an assistant head coach and later as a head coach in the VEF club system, but later was a regular guest in the Latvian Veterans Championship stages and an active family member of domestic football veterans.
At the beginning of 2006, LFF awarded the status of an honorary member of the most popular Latvian footballer of its time for a significant contribution to the development and popularization of Latvian football, as well as due to the 70th anniversary.