PNE midfielder’s Gall-ant efforts

Paul Gallagher celebrates PNE's win at Reading on Saturday
Paul Gallagher celebrates PNE's win at Reading on Saturday
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Preston North End playmaker Paul Gallagher will beat the pain barrier one more time before going under the surgeon’s knife later this month.

The 31-year-old has been troubled by a hernia for most of the season but that has not stopped him making 40 starts in the Championship.

A 41st appearance awaits against Leeds at Deepdale on Saturday lunchtime (12.30pm).

He will go into theatre in a couple of weeks and be back on his feet in time to attend the wedding of former Leicester team-mate Jamie Vardy.

Gallagher told the Evening Post: “I’m having a holiday and then going in for the operation on May 18.

“I’m going to a few weddings this summer – one of them is Jamie Vardy’s.

“With the operation done, I’ll be able to go and enjoy the day – he’s getting married at the same place I did.

“Playing with this injury just seems the norm now, it’s been a long season and I’ve had other knocks too.

“The view I take is that you are a long time retired and you can have all the rest you want when you retire.

“I want to play in every game I can, I’ve said before that many times I’ve not been 100% fit but it is how you manage yourself.

“I’ve a real desire to play football – this club gave me the opportunity to come back and play first-team football when I was having a rough time at Leicester.

“That is something I have appreciated and you can see with my performances on the pitch how much I have enjoyed it here.

“We’ve got a big game now against Leeds – they will bring a lot of supporters and 
we want to finish the season on a high.”

Gallagher was presented with PNE’s goal of the season award at the weekend.

His second goal in October’s 3-0 win at Charlton saw him win the gong.

Members of the Preston Supporters’ Group also voted him as their player of the year.

“I was pleased to score that goal and it was probably a bit more difficult than it looked,” said Gallagher.

“We had a corner which I played in to the near post for one of our centre-halves to flick on.

“Their goalkeeper came and punched it back towards the side of the pitch where I was.

“I think it was Adam Reach who shouted for me to cut it back to him but it sat nicely for me and I chose to have a shot.

“Fortunately enough, it flew in – to generate that power and keep your knee over the ball is a difficult skill.

“I’m known as a technical player and that is where your technique comes in.

“I had scored a free-kick earlier in the game so I was feeling confident.

“Looking back, that win at Charlton was a turning point in our season.

“We were down there near the bottom and it really seemed to galvanise us.

“Since then we have not looked back.”