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Skipper Duty Suited Weir

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

When it comes to being a captain, David Weir knows a thing or two.

During a playing career that lasted into his 43rd year, the softly spoken Scotsman was entrusted with the captain's armband at Hearts, Everton, Rangers and for his national side.

And whilst he may not be cut from the same cloth as blood-and-thunder skippers such as Mick Lyons or Alan Ball, there is no doubting the tall centre-back was a respected leader of men.

For him, the key to being a successful captain lies in the respect of your peers rather than regularly battering eardrums with orders.

He reflects: "You don't want to change as a person or a player, but it brings a different responsibility and that is something you've got to enjoy, take seriously and do to the best of your ability. You want to be a good captain to help the people around you.

"As a leader, I would like to think I led by example. I was never one to shout and bawl but more somebody who would try to speak to people and do that in the right manner. Maybe have a word with them at the right time rather than being too dramatic or over the top. That is more in my nature.

"I had a great time here as a player with a lot of great experiences, but to be made the captain, you realise the significance of what you are actually doing.

"The manager will start to ask you more questions and tries to lean on you a little as well to try and influence the lads, so you are the focal point for the Club, the media and the manager. It is a different dynamic from just being a player but it was a great experience and something I really enjoyed.

"As time moved on there has always been fantastic players through the history of this Club. Just to be associated with it and to have played a part in its history - and as a captain - adds to that. I'm proud to have had the opportunity to captain a great club like Everton.

"It was special to lead the team out in European games. You try to take the responsibility onto the field, as you would do anyway. But when you become the captain you become the focal point and people do tend to lean on you a little more and ask a little bit more from you.

"I had obviously captained the team on many occasions before but it was special to lead the team out in the Champions League as Club skipper. It was a great honour."

David Weir

Having led the Blues in Europe - Weir went on to fulfil the same role at Ibrox, where he also tasted league and cup success.

He continues: "The ultimate as captain is tasting success. If you're involved in success, they are the days you remember for the rest of your life. It also becomes a bit of a habit and once you've had a taste of it, you want more of it. It is a nice habit to get into and once you've had that feeling, you want it more."

Success may not have been forthcoming with his national side, but captaining was no less special for the Scot.

Weir recalls: "Captaining your country four times is also a massive honour. To have done it at Everton, Rangers subsequently and Hearts previously - I have had plenty of experience of captaining teams. But to captain your country is a different experience because you are representing your whole country so it does magnify it, although the principles are the same. The roles and responsibilities are pretty much the same, it is just the magnitude.

"The job remains the same and the things you have to do remain the same. There may be small differences from club to club, but in each team the key aim remains the same and that is gaining the respect of the players and trying to help make them better. That is the key responsibility - trying to help the club and the players get results.

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