In May 1966, as a non-participating Scotland sullenly anticipated the approaching World Cup Finals in England, the Dons' seven year drought at full cap level finally ended when local lad Dave Smith was named to face Holland at Hampden. Aberdeen-born Smith was signed by the club from Lads Club Thistle in 1961 as an 18 year old, and after a one-year apprenticeship in the reserves won the first team left half spot from the slightly more senior Doug Fraser.
Dave was a thinking man's wing half who relied on his ability to react quickly and read a game rather than strong man tactics. His steady performances for a hugely inconsistent Dons side won him recognition at under 23 level before promotion to the full side against the Dutch on May 11 1966. The Scots fielded a largely experimental side that day with Pat Stanton and Andy Penman also winning their first caps, and they were somewhat overwhelmed by a strong Dutch outfit 3-0.
In August, 1966, Rangers paid Aberdeen a new club record fee of £45,000 for Smith and another brief Dons international career came to an end. At Ibrox Dave became an important part of the rangers' set-up during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was a key element in the "Light Blues'" 1972 Cup Winners' Cup triumph. In November 1974 he was transferred to Arbroath for £10,000 and during a two year stint at Gayfield became involved in coaching. In 1976 he became player-manager at Berwick Rangers but after four years there more or less ended his involvement in football following off-field problems. Dave was last known to be back in the North East where he was employed as a taxi driver.