Gally’s Valley strike wins award

Paul Gallagher celebrates his goal at Charlton last season
Paul Gallagher celebrates his goal at Charlton last season
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Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher was a winner at the North West Football Awards in Manchester.

The 32-year-old won the goal of the year award for his superb strike against Charlton at The Valley last season.

Voting took place on the night via Twitter, with Gallagher holding off strong competition to be victorious.

He is not the first North End player to win the award, Joe Garner having done so in 2014 for his stunning strike in the play-offs against Rotherham.

Gallagher was not at the awards ceremony held at Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Old Trafford, but his trophy was collected by team-mates Alan Browne and Greg Cunningham and PNE assistant manager Glynn Snodin.

The goal which saw him top the poll was his second of the game in the 3-0 win last October.

He was both the creator and scorer, having curled a corner into the box.

The Addicks goalkeeper punched clear, Gallagher first to the 
loose ball on the left-hand side of the box.

Gallagher met it first time, bending a 
right-foot shot into the far corner.

Earlier in the first half, he had scored with a free-kick from 25 yards.

After winning the award, Gallagher posted on Twitter: “Absolutely delighted to have won goal of the year @NWFAwards. Thanks to everyone that voted. Oh and it came off my shin!”

Among the goals he beat to win the award was Anthony Martial’s debut strike for Manchester United against Liverpool and Romelu Lukaku’s solo effort in Everton’s FA Cup win over Chelsea.

Goals by Wigan’s Max Power, Zach Clough at Bolton and Manchester City Women’s Georgia Stanway.

North End had been in the running for six awards at the ceremony.

Browne was shortlisted in the Rising Star category, which was won by Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford.

Left-back Cunningham was beaten to the Championship player of the year by Andre Gray at Burnley.

Fitness coach Dr Tom Little was a finalist in the Fabrice Muamba Award for Outstanding Service to Football Medicine and Science.

That was won by Dr Joyce Watson at Accrington Stanley.

The PNE Education and Community Trust were up for two awards but were pipped by Wigan and Burnley.