view Smith's match-by-match record

After two previous attempts to sign him proved unsuccessful, Iffy Onuora finally managed to secure the signature of veteran midfielder Smith early in 2006, after his release by Walsall.

It was Andy King who first tried to bring Smith to Swindon, during the 2005/06 pre-season, after his release by Gillingham, where he had played for eight years - winning player of the year awards in seven of those seasons. With a low wage budget, King couldn't match the deals offered to Smith from elsewhere, and he instead agreed to join Walsall. Smith didn't settle well there though, due to the travelling involved in commuting from his home in Essex - by this time, Onuora had been installed as the new Town manager, and having links with Smith having played with him at Gillingham, he was hopeful of bringing him to the County Ground on loan. It wasn't to be though - Smith returning to Gillingham on loan just three months after he had left, with a view to a permanent return in the January transfer window.

With the promise of a return to Priestfield, Smith cancelled his contract at Walsall - only for Gillingham to allegedly go back on the deal - and Smith was left without a club when the transfer window opened in January. It was then that Onuora made another move for him, and this time he signed a six month deal - ironically just in time to make his debut as a substitute at Gillingham on January 14th. It wasn't a happy return - Smith missing a half-chance that would have put the Town level, before the Gills went on to record a 3-0 win.

Obviously lacking in fitness, Smith's first four appearances for the Town were from the substitutes' bench - he made his full debut in early February, in a 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers. Seen by many as the man to provide the bite in midfield that seemed to have been missing for so long, a blow was struck just three games into his spell in the side, when he hobbled out of a 1-0 win over Gillingham with an ankle injury, later diagnosed as bone bruising. The injury kept him out for two months - missing a crucial part of the season which saw the Town pick up just one point from vital home relegation clashes against Rotherham, Hartlepool and MK Dons. With the Town in desperate trouble, Smith returned to action for an important game at Scunthorpe, which was won - but he lasted just 45 minutes in his next game, a 3-1 defeat against Brentford that virtually consigned Swindon to relegation - though they had won five of the nine games in which Smith had featured.

Smith's ankle was operated on before the season ended - but Onuora offered him a one year extension to his contract, which he looked set to accept, before Onuora's sacking in May threw doubt on his situation. Though Smith still appeared to want to stay - turning away approaches from other clubs to stay at the County Ground after he admitted he thought a deal was "done and dusted" - new manager Dennis Wise deemed him to be surplus to requirements, releasing him in June.


Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'05/'06 5 (+4) - - - - - - - 5 (+4) -
TOTAL 5 (+4) - - - - - - - 5 (+4) -


13 JAN 2006 IN Walsall
30 JUN 2006 OUT (released)
AFC Sudbury

full name

Paul William Smith


date of birth
18 September 1971


usual positions
defensive central midfield

youth career
Southend United

senior career
Southend United
Gillingham (loan)
AFC Sudbury
Torquay United
Great Wakering Rovers
St. Albans City
AFC Sudbury
Billericay Town