Modern day legends are a little rare in football these days, with long-lasting loyalty a little harder to find.
Preston are lucky to have one though, as midfielder Paul Gallagher has made himself an absolute hero at Deepdale, having given great service to North End.
After joining on loan for a few months way back in 2007, Gallagher returned to Preston in 2013, signing on loan from Leicester City when North End were down in League One before eventually turning the move permanent in 2015.
He has been through playoff heartache, final day disaster at Colchester, the joy of promotion at Wembley Stadium and Preston’s re-establishment as a Championship club in a superb spell with the club.
Now 35, Gallagher remains an important part of Alex Neil’s side, and has hit six goals this season. His record for North End now stands at 44 and 68 assists in 291 games, whilst emerging as a fan favourite over the years.
Every year it seems like fans wonder if Gallagher is slowing down, and he comes back strong with his playmaking ability in midfield, meaning he keeps earning new contracts one after another.
Gallagher’s current deal expires this summer, and he has now taken to Instagram to comment on his plans for the future.
Gallagher admitted that he would ‘love’ to retire at Preston, which is no huge shock given that he has now started his coaching path with the club, working at youth level to set up a post-playing career.
North End fans would no doubt love to see Gallagher – voted player of the decade by Preston fans – become Lilywhites boss in the future, which isn’t out of all realms of possibility if he does retire with North End and continue coaching with the club.