Glory is sweeter shared for ever-present David Weir

RANGERS striker Kris Boyd may have scored more match-winning goals and goalkeeper Allan McGregor might have been the subject of more headlines but David Weir surely defines most accurately the Ibrox club's latest championship victory.

That the 39 year-old made more league appearances than any of his team-mates is impressive enough, but his record of having appeared in every minute of every game lifts the achievements into the realms of the remarkable. He will surely be lifting another award the day after Rangers are presented with the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League trophy, with Weir a favourite to be named the Scottish Football Writers' player of the year.

But, true to understated form, Weir has been quick to heap praise on the group of players who have secured an unlikely second successive championship. The skipper's reflex action, it seems, is to share the glory with others. Last season he made sure deposed captain Barry Ferguson helped him lift the trophy following the decisive 3-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice. Yesterday he reflected on the team's achievement of winning two trophies in a season which has been dominated by financial uncertainty off the field. Although the former Everton defender can boast of having shared the same dressing room as such world talents as Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola, Weir paid tribute to the spirit Rangers displayed as a team.

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"With the obstacles put in this team's way and the circumstances we have had to adjust to, I think we have to go away with a great deal of credit," he said. "It's a special team in that respect. The lads have not let any of it effect them. To go this far and only lose two games in the league is an unbelievable achievement."

Weir did, briefly, respond to a request to analyse what the triumph meant for him personally. "It means a lot to have played every minute of every league game," he said. "It also means a lot to be part of this great club. But I think it means most to me to lift the title as captain. For me, last year was Barry's title. He had been skipper for most of the season. I have been captain for all of this season and it means so much to me."

He stressed the need for the players to enjoy the moment while they can. Weir, who turns 40 next month, is particularly alert to this given both his advanced years and contract situation. His deal expires this summer and he is unsure what the future holds. Rangers have been less dynamic than usual when it comes to securing players' future due to ongoing financial issues and Weir is just one of many players left in limbo. He appears keen to continue playing and it would surely be in Rangers' best interests to tie him up for another year. This need is made more pronounced due to the continued doubt over the future of fellow centre-halves Madjid Bougherra and Danny Wilson. Both have been linked with moves to England in recent weeks.

"Football is funny and things can change so quickly – that's why we must enjoy this," Weir said. "You don't know what is around the next corner. I didn't anticipate being here so long or winning so many trophies when I came to Rangers. We have done well and it's such a great place to play your football."

A sense of having the odds stacked against them has motivated Rangers. They have responded to the difficult situation at the club by simply getting their heads down, and digging out victory after victory, result after result. Only two league matches were lost – at Aberdeen and St Johnstone– in a remorseless charge towards the title. Given his unique perspective as the only Rangers player to have featured in every moment of every game, Weir is the right candidate to cast an eye back on the campaign. He judged the match against Hearts at Tynecastle on only the second weekend of the season as being particularly significant. He also highlighted the Old Firm clash at Celtic Park in January. On both occasions Rangers were faced with difficult situations but came away with positive results.

"I remember going down to ten men at Tynecastle and going a goal down but coming back to win," Weir said. "I also remember going to Celtic Park when we never got a touch of the ball but came away with a result (1-1].

"This is a special group of players and they deserve great credit for what they have done," he added. "We've had stick for not being good or whatever – but now is the time for the players to get the respect they deserve."

Meanwhile, Walter Smith has admitted that his decision to sign Kyle Lafferty from Burnley for over 3 million was a "gamble", but one he feels has now paid off. The Ibrox manager was given the green light to invest this sum in Lafferty in June 2008, just prior to the onset of financial problems at Rangers.

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The 22-year-old striker struggled to settle at first and only now is displaying any consistency of form. His progress has been thwarted by employment in a wide role that was unfamiliar to him but has managed to distinguish himself in recent weeks. He joined Kenny Miller in attack on Sunday against Hibernian and scored the goal which sealed Rangers' second successive championship. It was Lafferty's third strike in four outings. While such a belated return of goals might still fall short of justifying his transfer fee, Smith yesterday defended the decision to spend so much on the player. He argued that it is the going-rate for young strikers with potential in this day and age, with Cristiano Ronaldo having set the scale when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid last summer.

"Forwards start at 80 million, and then you work your way down," Smith explained. "You always pay more for a forward. You always have to be prepared to make a gamble.

"At the Old Firm it takes a period of time for people to settle in. Kyle has had some settling down to do off the pitch and on it, but he is doing that now.

He has been instrumental in us winning the championship."