Dean Smith opens up on his father's illness in post-match interview
Smith has spoken in the past about his father's illness
On Monday afternoon Dean Smith guided his Aston Villa side back to the Premier League after three seasons in the Championship after a 2-1 victory over Derby County in the play-off final at Wembley.
A lifelong Villa fan, Smith was beaming with pride after taking the team from 14th in December 2018 to the Premier League in May, but there was a tinge of sadness to his post-match interview as he discussed his father's illness.
Smith's father, Ron, suffers from dementia, and the Villa boss has been open in discussing the impact that that illness has had on him and his family.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Smith revealed that he used to sweep the steps of Villa Park's Holte End while his father was working as a steward at the stadium, but that now - his father who lives in a care home - does not even know that he is Aston Villa manager.
"Unfortunately, because of his dementia he doesn’t know that I’m Villa head coach," he said. "That’s probably the tough part of it."
Speaking after the game, he revealed that he had been to see his father this past week, and that he told his father that the next time he would see him he'd be a Premier League manager.
"He smiled," Smith said, through teary eyes, as an emotional interview ended and the celebrations of thousands of Villa fans continued around him.
Got a lump in my throat heading dean smith talk about his father smiling at his comment about getting villa up. Dementia is one of the worst things I've seen happen to a person and I'm so happy for the bloke! #avfc #swfc
— Matthew 🦉 (@matt_h4) May 27, 2019
— CamembertElectrique (@ElectriCheese) May 27, 2019