Preston North End fans around the world rejoiced today as Paul Gallagher put pen-to-paper on a new contract extension at Deepdale, as confirmed by the club’s website.
The midfielder’s contract was set to expire this summer but amongst the current COVID-19 pandemic, he agreed to a short-term deal that saw him become available for the last few games of the campaign.
Now, he has secured a brand-new deal that will see him play on for Preston until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Despite being 36-years old, he still continues to play a pivotal role in the centre of the field for PNE. He is regularly chosen in midfield not only for his tremendous passing ability (as shown by his 69 assists over the course of a seven-year stint with the club including his loan moves) but for his set-piece and goalscoring ability too, having scored 44 goals for us from the middle of the pitch.
The Scotland man has become somewhat of a club legend for North End since his very first loan move to the club back in 2013. After a short spell at Sheffield United, he then came on loan to the Lilywhites from parent club Leicester.
During that first campaign, he featured 35 times for PNE and scored ten goals, as we reached the League 1 Play-Offs.
It wasn’t to be of course with Rotherham beating us over the two legs in the semi-finals. However, Gallagher had done enough at Deepdale to warrant us bringing him back on loan for a second spell a year later.
That season, the club went one better and were promoted to the Championship via THAT Play-Off final against Swindon in which the midfielder bagged two assists.
It led to the 36-year old signing permanently and he has been a mainstay in the team ever since, making nearly 300 appearances for the club.
Gallagher is nearing the 300 appearance mark
He is only three competitive appearances from hitting that 300 game mark, so with the news of this new deal, he is very likely to hit it over the course of the 2020/21 campaign – something that will surely cement his place as a club legend.
Speaking to the official PNE website, he said: “I enjoy being here.
“It will be my eighth year and I am on 297 games and I want to play in front of the fans again. I didn’t want to walk away and leave this football club without playing in front of the fans again.”
Of course, if he hadn’t extended his deal, it would have meant that after seven years at the club he would have left in front of no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By agreeing this deal, it ensures that we get to see him work his magic from the centre of the field again before his deal ends with the club.