Years at United: 1925-1930
With an incredible 143 goals in just 174 games for United, Hughie Gallacher is quite rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest centre-forwards of all time.
Despite standing at just 5'5", the diminutive Scot was a real handful in front of goal and possessed a fearsome shot with either foot, with his career record of 463 goals telling its own story.
He scored goals for fun during his five-year stay on Tyneside and remains the club's most potent attacker of all time with an astonishing strike rate of over 82 percent.
A colourful character, Gallacher became a cult figure at St. James' Park having signed from Airdrieonians in December 1925.
‘Wee Hughie’ skippered the club to the First Division title in 1927, scoring 39 goals in 41 games to reach iconic status with supporters.
Despite finishing as top scorer in each of his five seasons, his relationship with United’s directors was decidedly frosty.
Eventually, Gallacher was sold to Chelsea for £10,000 – a huge amount of money for the time – and ironically, he made his debut for the Blues against Newcastle at St. James’ Park in front of a packed house.
On the international front, Gallacher scored an amazing 24 times in just 20 games for his native Scotland and was part of the Wembley Wizards side that demolished England in 1928.
Gallacher returned to Tyneside in 1938 to join Gateshead, stating: "My heart has been here ever since I left United eight years ago. I intend to spend the rest of my life with my adopted folk in Gateshead."
In retirement, he worked in a number of roles – including sports journalism.
Sadly, Gallacher's story ended in tragedy when, after a series of personal issues, he took his own life in June 1957, aged 54.
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