PNE in Numbers: Evergreen Gally set for latest milestone

Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring against Bristol City.
Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring against Bristol City.

Paul Gallagher is on the eve of a major milestone.

Having got his frustrating season going by starting the last two games for Preston, his next appearance for North End will be his 200th in all competitions.

The 33-year-old was the first player in England to make 100 appearances on loan at one club and joined PNE on a permanent basis in the summer of 2015 having helped the Lilywhites win promotion back to the Championship.

He first joined North End in September 2007 on loan from Blackburn and made 19 appearances, scoring one goal, before going back to Ewood Park in January.

Gallagher returned in November 2013, this time from Leicester and spent six months at Deepdale.

He made 35 league and cup appearances and scored 10 goals in all.

His third spell was on a season-long loan in 2014-15 as North End returned to the second tier via the League One play-offs.

Gallagher only missed four of the 63 games that term, appearing in every league game as he finished third top scorer behind Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford with 13 goals.

In all, the No.12 made 113 appearances whilst on loan, scoring 24 goals.

That included a hat-trick in the 6-0 FA Cup first round win over Barnet in 2013.

Since making the switch a permanent one, Gallagher has made 86 appearances and scored seven goals, the latest coming in the 2-1 win at Bristol City on Tuesday night.

He passed 500 career club games in the 1-1 home draw with Barnsley in September.

In all he was the first player to spend three separate loan spells at Deepdale, the first to sign for the club four times and the first loan player to score a hat-trick for the club.

These feats are not unique to the popular midfielder though, Callum Robinson having replicated them as he swapped Aston Villa for PNE.

This season Gallagher has managed just the 418 minutes of action due to a variety of injuries.

First he didn’t have the ideal preparation for the new campaign due to a tight hamstring.

Then he picked up concussion back in August against Derby, Alex Neil revealing afterwards that the injury meant Gallagher had no recollection of his substitute appearance.

He then picked up shingles soon afterwards which drained him of energy.

But if the past week is anything to go by he is a key part of Neil’s plans.

After all, it’s hard to argue with the numbers.

With thanks to Martin Atherton for the stats