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Kyle Lafferty: I will repay Rangers for my Ibrox second chance

 

By Jim Gracey

Self-confessed 'Rangers nut' Kyle Lafferty will be handed an immediate opportunity to repay boss Steven Gerrard for his Ibrox second chance as he goes straight into the squad for tonight's Europa League play-off first leg against Russian side Ufa.

Northern Ireland striker Lafferty signed on for a second spell at Rangers yesterday, insisting he was back to 'redeem' himself, saying his previous Ibrox exit left him with a broken heart.

Lafferty has signed a two-year contract after moving from Hearts for an undisclosed fee, six years after declining the chance to transfer his employment to the Rangers newco after the club went into liquidation.

He had spent four years at Ibrox, hitting 38 goals and lifting three league titles, and did not disguise his delight at being back in light blue.

The 30-year-old Fermanagh-born player told Rangers TV: "I have supported them since I was a kid and I have played here before, but obviously the way I left I was disappointed to walk out those doors six/seven years ago.

"Basically it broke my heart, but to be given a second chance to redeem myself and put things right, I jumped at the chance. I am happy to be home. I always wanted to come back and put things right."

“I jumped at the chance. I am happy to be home,” Lafferty added.

“Of course I always wanted to come back and put things right and show the fans what I am all about. Did I think I would get another chance though? Not really.

“I went to Hearts last season and had a good season, and now I have been given a second chance, which I am lucky to have.”

Hearts owner Ann Budge told fans the club had little option but to sell Lafferty after the forward made his desire to sign for Rangers known.

Budge said: “It is no secret that this has been a particularly difficult and drawn-out affair.

“While we have no desire to sell our players to other teams in the league, when a player has his mind fully set on moving, it is difficult to reach an alternative conclusion.

“The deal, when completed, will suit all parties and, importantly, will allow Craig (Levein) to focus his efforts on finalising potential deals to add to his playing squad — having brought in 13 players already this summer — and preparing the team for their Ladbrokes Premiership match at Kilmarnock, where they will bid to go eight games unbeaten.

“It will also allow me to return my attentions to progressing the development of our new, multi-million pound main stand,” she added.

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