Preston North End in Numbers: Could Paul Gallagher be heading to ideal venue to score 100th career goal?
Paul Gallagher could be heading to the perfect venue to reach a major milestone on Saturday.
A little more than 15 years since scoring his first senior goal for Blackburn Rovers, the experienced midfielder heads into derby action with Preston North End looking to find the back of the net for the 100th time as a professional.
Gallagher opened his account for the Lilywhites’ hosts this weekend in a 4-0 win at Birmingham City on December 6, 2003.
A fresh-faced Gallagher popped up two minutes from time to complete a big win for Rovers on that day at St Andrew’s.
The 34-year-old is now sitting on 99 having scored five for PNE this season, the last of those coming from the penalty spot in the 3-1 win over Norwich City last month at Deepdale.
A fine campaign, that has already seen Gallagher extend his contract until the end of next season, has also included seven insists with his set-piece delivery and passing as good as it has ever been.
After that goal for Rovers against Birmingham, the one-cap Scotland international would score eight goals in total for his home-town club. During his time at Ewood Park, Gallagher had several spells out on loan.
He scored 12 goals while spending the 2005-06 season with Stoke City with his first PNE spell coming in the first half of the 2007-08 campaign.
One goal would follow in 19 appearances but that was far from the last North End fans would see of Gallagher.
Having started out as a striker, he then had another good season in front of goal while on loan at Plymouth in 2008-09, finding the back of the net 13 times.
Then came a permanent move away from Blackburn to join Leicester City,
Gallagher scoring 28 goals in total for the Foxes.
Again there were spells out on loan North End’s No.12 scoring one goal during a stint at Sheffield United before he was back at Deepdale.
Gallagher was on loan with the Lilywhites from October 2013 pretty much until he completed a permanent switch in May 2015.
During that time he scored 23 goals, including a hat-trick against Barnet in the FA Cup in just his second game back with the club.
Since joining permanently after North End’s Wembley win in the League One play-off final, Gallagher has chipped in with 13 goals in total. And with a new contract under his belt, there’s no sign of him stopping any time soon.