KARL Robinson hopes Oxford United will find a way to pay a lasting tribute to Jim Smith – and the head coach has suggested the East Stand is unofficially referred to as the Jim Smith Stand from now on.

The former U's boss died on Tuesday aged 79, prompting a wave of tributes to the man affectionately nicknamed the Bald Eagle.

United are expected to wear black armbands for Saturday's game at Milton Keynes Dons, while a minute's applause will be held before their home game with Manchester City next Wednesday.

There have been plenty of ideas about what can be done to commemorate the double promotion-winning manager, but it will take the club time to formulate the plan.

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As tenants, the U's are restricted on what can be done officially at the Kassam Stadium.

But Robinson put forward an informal solution among supporters.

He said: "We now have a duty of care of making sure his family feel one with Oxford United as he made the fans feel at one with their club and gave them their greatest time in the history of the club.

"It’s something we’ll remember properly.

"I know there’s a lot of talk about what we can do, it has to be the right thing and stands the test of time."

He added: "I get there’s (restrictions on) naming rights and things, but for me we will now forever be kicking towards the Jim Smith Stand.

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"It doesn’t have to be a public thing, but that is what it means.

"I know we can’t do it officially, but I don’t see why we still can’t call it that."

While Robinson only crossed paths with Smith a couple of times, the Liverpool fan is well aware of the sort of impact such a figure can have.

He said: "What resonates with me is I never saw Bill Shankly manage, but I can assure you every game I went to as a kid my dad would tell a story him in the car.

"There was always a sense that he was still alive and that was carried through the club.

"There’s a legacy you leave that will never die.

"So tell your stories about him in the car on the way to the game on Saturday.
"Let’s make sure a as club we don’t forget probably the most iconic figure that’s ever associated himself with this club."