Rangers wrap up SPL title

EDINBURGH - Rangers clinched their 53rd Scottish league title on Sunday and celebrated amid joyful scenes at Hibernian's ground following a 1-0 triumph that put them out of reach of old rivals Celtic.

About 50 Rangers fans watched the match from the balconies of a nearby block of flats which continue to overlook the ground until a new stand is erected.

Another 100 in fancy dress watched from a raised walkway at the foot of the flats.

They all danced while jubilant Rangers players bounced up and down on the pitch in front of their ecstatic 1,500 travelling support in the 10,500 capacity crowd.

A first half goal from Kyle Lafferty earned the win that secured the championship with three matches left. They have 83 points while Celtic sit second on 72.

Rangers have come through a turbulent campaign with financial restrictions, an early exit from the Champions League plus the club being put up for sale.

But at the end of it all manager Walter Smith was able to savour his back-to-back championship wins plus the League Cup success when nine-man Rangers beat St Mirren 1-0 in the final.

He told reporters: "We have a good group of players, but we just don't have an awful lot of them in terms of the size that is needed for a club like Rangers.

"So that is what maybe separates it from a lot of the other championships I have been fortunate enough to win. We have done so well with a small group and maybe a little bit against the odds, especially this season."

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