TOMMY Elphick declared himself “proud and honoured” after he had become the first player to captain Cherries to two promotions.

The 27-year-old defender donned the armband for Cherries’ promotion campaign from League One in 2012-13 before this term leading the Dean Court outfit to the top flight for the first time.

Elphick is only the second Cherries player to skipper the team to a league title with Mark Newson the other having achieved the feat in the old Division Three in 1986-87.

The other players who have captained the Dean Court side to promotion are Jason Pearce (2009-10), Carl Fletcher (2002-03), John Impey (1981-82) and Keith Miller (1970-71).

The significance of elevation to the Premier League was not lost on Elphick, who hailed the effort of his team-mates.

He told the Daily Echo: “I’m so proud and honoured to be the captain in such a great team and one that is going to go down in history.

“So many people have worked so hard to achieve this. It’s time to be humble and enjoy what we’ve done.

“It’s very special to come out on top, especially in the most gruelling league possible.

“There are 46 games, you play on Saturday and Tuesday most weeks and there is a lot of travelling involved.

“Everyone has to take huge credit for winning the league in the manner that we have. The table doesn’t lie and we have been the best team – 100 per cent.”

Elphick added: “I think the people who kept the club in existence deserve a lot of credit for what has been achieved.

“And the likes of Willo (John Williams), Harry Redknapp and Ted MacDougall all deserve a mention because they are the ones who first put us on the map.

“Hopefully, we’ve done them all proud.”

Cherries’ patient, passing style has been a hallmark of Eddie Howe’s two spells in charge and Elphick insisted that the Championship title success had vindicated the manager’s philosophy.

He continued: “Some people don’t agree with what we do or doubt what we do but the gaffer instils in us every day that we’re good enough to play that way and that we do it for a reason.

“That reason is clear to everyone now that we are champions.

“It has to work well in the Premier League and we have to make it work well.

“We will all have to be a little bit better but I don’t see why it could be doubted.”