AIDEN McGEADY celebrated as his former Preston fans hit the boos at Deepdale.
The former Celtic winger hit the second goal in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw against the side where he spent last season on loan from Everton before his summer switch to Wearside.
And the home support jeered the Republic of Ireland international on his return.
McGeady incensed the North End followers by running the length of the pitch to acclaim his strike in front of them.
“Black Cats boss Simon Grayson, who was also making his first return to the club after quitting in summer, said: “You are allowed to run around any part of the field and celebrate how you want.
“He took the pressure off me, to be fair, so I’m quite happy with that. Why shouldn’t you celebrate? He was unfairly taunted, I thought, because he was exceptional last year.
“He didn’t have a choice to come here, so I thought it was a bit unfair what went off.”
— Mark Evans (@Evs_Dubai) September 30, 2017
Preston manager Alex Neil said: “I was too disappointed with conceding to notice Aiden’s celebration. I saw him run somewhere. I think in football emotions run high.
“We were delighted when we scored. I’ll be honest, I don’t make too much of it.”
McGeady struck just before the hour mark to make certain Sunderland went home with a point.
George Honeyman had given the visitors a first-half lead, but Josh Harrop levelled in the 55th minute and Jordan Hugill put the hosts in front with a quickfire volley.
But former Hoops star McGeady equalised with a 20-yard strike moments later.”