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By ESPN Staff

David Weir to leave Rangers

Former Everton and Scotland defender David Weir has announced he will leave Rangers on Friday after finding limited first-team opportunities this season.

Weir, 41, said on Rangers' official website: ''It will be an emotional week because it's the end of five years for me at Rangers, five years I have loved. I'm not sad about it, I'm happy that I got the opportunity to play for such a great club.

''During my time here I have got to play with fantastic players and work with great coaches and on top of that we achieved a lot. I have so many memories to look back on and I am very proud of that, I wouldn't change it for the world. But it's not been a difficult decision, if anything I probably prolonged it.''

Weir was 36 when he became Walter Smith's first signing in his second spell as Rangers boss in 2007.

The defender, who had spells at Falkirk and Hearts earlier in his career, helped Rangers to the UEFA Cup final in 2008 and victory in the League and Scottish Cups. He was installed as club captain and helped Rangers to six more trophies, including three successive Premier League titles.

However, he has made just one appearance this season due to the presence of Dorin Goian and Carlos Bocanegra in defence and will now move elsewhere to finish his playing career.

He added: ''I could have left at the end of last season along with Walter and that would have been a natural end to it. But I still want to play and even now I still want to play.

''I've not got anything lined up in terms of where I will be going or what I will be doing because I wanted to speak to the manager here first and do things properly.

''As I said I could've left at the end of last season but I didn't feel it was the right time. I wanted to give it a go for another year but it's not worked out as I would have liked as I've not played due to injuries and the form of Carlos and Dorin.

''But I am not sad about that or frustrated, I am glad I took the chance and it hasn't worked out for me this season. I always had an agreement with Walter that if I wasn't playing I would walk away and that's continued with Ally in charge.''

Weir, though, was far from downbeat about his time at Rangers.

He added: ''I'm not the type of person that looks at the negatives, I always try to look at the positives and at the end of the day I can't complain. I've had a longer career than most and I've been lucky with injuries as well.

''This season I've had to take it on the chin when I've not been involved and my aim was always to try and get back into the side. That hasn't happened so I've played in the reserves and again I enjoyed that working with Tommy Wilson and have learned a lot from him.

''That gave me the opportunity to play alongside some of the younger boys and I really enjoyed that. So although I've not played this season I still feel I've learned something and when I look back at my time at Rangers it's been remarkable.

''When I joined I never expected to be here for five years but it's been hugely enjoyable and being able to pull on a blue jersey and help the club win eight trophies has been a dream come true.

''The fans have been terrific with me since I joined and given me 100% support - I can't thank them enough for their backing. This club will always be in my blood and hopefully the fans will be celebrating further success this season.''

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