Declan Gallagher returns to Livingston a day after being released from prison | John Rankin joins QoS

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Defender Declan Gallacher has rejoined Livingston on a deal until the end of the season just a day after being released from prison.

The former Dundee player was jailed for three years in June 2015 after being found guilty for his role in a ‘brutal’ attack two years earlier that left victim Steven Findlay with with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Appeal judges then rejected his challenge against the conviction last February, although during his release on bail the 25-year-old made 30 appearances for the Lions in the first half of the 2015/16 campaign.

Gallagher, who was released from prison on Wednesday, has trained regularly with Championship side Raith Rovers during his day release work placement.

The centre-half could be handed an immediate return to the team for tomorrow’s League One trip to Peterhead as David Hopkin’s league leaders bid to bounce back from back-to-back defeats.

A club statement read: “Livingston FC would like to welcome back Declan Gallagher for the remainder of the season.

“Declan will help the club push on with our target of making an immediate return to the SPFL Championship.”

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Queen of the South manager Gary Naysmith has revealed that midfielder John Rankin has taken a wage cut to join the Doonhamers on an 18-month contract.

The experienced former Hibs, Dundee United, Inverness and Ross County player made the switch to Palmerston on Thursday afternoon, just hours after negotiating his release from Falkirk.

Rankin’s Falkirk switch didn’t work out

The 33-year-old struggled to make an impact with the Bairns, starting only seven Championship matches, but Naysmith is delighted to have Rankin on-board.

Naysmith, who recruited Joe Thomson and Dom Thomas on loan from Celtic and Motherwell respectively earlier this week, said: “John has taken a cut in wages to join us, so that says a lot about the player and his willingness to join us.

“He has signed an 18 month contract and will be an integral part of what I’m trying to build.

“We have Joe and Dom in on short term deals but I think it’s important that we also have players signed up as part of our longer term plans.

“So with Stephen Dobbie and now John signed on until the end of next season, it’s good to have senior players around to set an example.

“Once I spoke to John I could tell he is going to be a big help to me when it comes to bringing the young players on.

“He is a fitness fanatic who takes care of himself, so age isn’t a concern to me as he is probably one of if not the most fittest player in the division.

“He is exactly what I’m looking for to help us get results but he also has the standards that I am looking to set on and off the pitch.

“I haven’t worked with him before but after doing some homework it’s clear that he is highly thought of, the feedback has been good and anyone who has worked with him all say the same, that he is one of the best professionals they’ve worked with.”

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